Jesse Griffiths is an Austin-based chef, author, hunter, and fisherman, and he’s also the co-owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club and the New School of Traditional Cookery. Jesse’s work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to the Joe Rogan Experience, and he’s a regular contributor to Steven Rinella’s MeatEater. As an author, Jesse has received great praise for his two books, the James Beard Award-finalist cookbook, Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, as well as his most recent title, The Hog Book: A Chef’s Guide to Hunting, Preparing, and Cooking Wild Pigs.
Born and raised in Denton, Texas, Jesse grew up obsessed with fishing– he loved catching the fish, but he also loved cooking and eating them. As a teenager, he started working in restaurants and became more and more interested in cooking– an interest that he pursued full-time after graduating from high school. Propelled by a deep curiosity and a desire to broaden his perspective, he would save up his money and then travel, studying food and cooking in a wide variety of cultures around the world. Eventually, Jesse combined all of his unique personal and professional experiences and opened his own restaurant, Dia Due, which features food that is “produced in a fair and equitable way, represent(s) local culinary traditions, and support(s) farmers and ranchers who are striving to improve the quality of our food.”
I’ve been a fan of Jesse’s work for many years, so I was thrilled when we were introduced by a mutual friend. Over the course of our hour together, we covered a lot, include: Jesse’s upbringing in Texas and his early days in cooking, the importance of international travel, the challenges of getting Dai Due off the ground, the importance of humility and curiosity, a deep dive into wild hogs in Texas, his approach to writing, Jesse’s recent obsession with wild turkeys, and, of course, Jesse offers a ton of great book recommendations.