There is always something fascinating at the North American Gamebird Association conventions. The first ever Hunt Club Conference kicked off on July 18, 2022, and was held at the Deer Creek State Lodge in central Ohio. In addition to being a beautiful location, the speakers were very informative. We are so glad we attended this convention for many reasons. But, we were incredibly excited to observe Master Chef Alfonso Contrisciano prepare three different mouthwatering pheasant dishes using MacFarlane pheasant. A video is available at this link, and if you love watching a great chef, you will love this video.
Chef Alfonso is the Executive Director of Culinary Operations and Master Chef at Hocking College. He has earned over 75 national and international awards and has 36 gold medals. As an educator, executive chef, and pastry chef, he has been President and Vice President of leading restaurants, universities, and food service companies. As the Vice President of Culinary Development for Centerplate, Chef Alfonso oversaw several of the largest convention centers in the United States. He orchestrated numerous presidential dinners, including President Obama’s Inaugural Balls.
Oliver Farms is owned by Chef Alfonso. This farm is a local, sustainable food manufacturing company where they grow produce and raise beef cattle. He has also opened an outlet store and bakery in Nelsonville, Ohio. He lives on his 290-acre family farm in Thornville, Ohio, a quaint little town in the Northwest corner of Perry County. The chef is a member of the Ohio Ecological Farm to Food Association and the Perry County Farmers’ Market Cooperative president. Chef Alfonso believes in green initiatives and sustainable foods and has a vision of “seasonal products prepared with a focus on healthy nutritional profiles.”
Once we learned about Chef Alfonso’s impressive background, we had high expectations. His assistant, Otto, is also a highly experienced chef. Between the banter and the cooking, the two of them made this a delightful experience. Chef Alfonso started by telling us that during his early years of training in Europe, a chef told him that the “true test” of a chef was when you could cook game well. He explained every step of how he enhanced the flavor of the pheasant and how restaurants could really benefit from a pheasant plate on their menu. We observed three pheasant meals prepared during the hour-long presentation; each tasted out of this world! One of the favorite dishes for many people was a pheasant breast served over a pineapple slice cooked in brown sugar with a freshly made cherry vanilla barbecue sauce topping the pheasant breast.
We were fascinated by Chef Alfonso Contrisciano’s background, teaching skills, and his deliciously prepared MacFarlane pheasant. Thank you, North American Gamebird Association, for providing this outstanding presentation.