Wild Maryland Cookbook​

Butchering Information


Cookbook Panelists

Noah Manges
Noah Manges, New Germany State Park

A lifelong hunter and fisherman who has been eating wild game he's harvested since he was a child, Noah and his wife are constantly trying new recipes and eating wild game throughout the year. White-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, squirrels, rainbow trout and walleye are just a few of the menu items they enjoy. Noah also spent several years as a line cook before joining the Maryland Park Service.

Rebecca Swerida
Rebecca Swerida, Chesapeake and Coastal Service

Rebecca loves cooking, using natural foods, ingredients found foraging and her own catch of the day. Rebecca comes from a family of professional fishermen and recreational hunters. She thinks wild plant foods are often underappreciated and overlooked, especially considering how nutritious and delicious they are. Rebecca is a Pescetarian and she brings that unique eating and cooking perspective to the table.

Eric Shirk
Eric Shirk, Communications

A long-time cook who will eat anything, Eric is savvy from grill to smoker and everything in between. He knows what seasoning and flavor combinations will be successful in a dish and those that will not. He has a strong eye for detail when assessing a recipe and will be a unique asset to the team.

Franklin Wright
Franklin Wright, NRP Salisbury

All if his life, Franklin has enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, canoeing, etc. He was raised eating a lot of wild game from gar fish, eels, squirrels, raccoon, muskrat, nutria, snapping turtles, fish, assorted roadkill and bear, elk, moose, and deer. Franklin processes all of his own wild game for making a variety of deer jerky, bologna, and deer burgers. Franklin and his wife have canned vegetables and made homemade jellies. Franklin also has also experience eating wild plants such as cattail roots, pine cone seeds, sassafras tea, yarrow tea, and deep fried dandelions.

Brynn Gibson
Brynn Gibson, former employee of DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service

Brynn is a huntress, fisherwoman, and self-described foodie. Brynn's husband introduced her to deer hunting 10 years ago, and the excitement of the hunt was fueled by the realization that venison is a delicious, humanely sourced, sustainable protein for her family. Brynn's Irish grandmother raised her and opened a local restaurant called Casey Jones in 1980 that stayed in her family for 38 years. Her grandmother was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and was an amazing chef.

Chris Markin
Chris Markin, Wildlife and Heritage Service

Hunting and fishing in our great state is what Chris loves to do. At any given time you can find venison, goose, duck, fish and crabs in his fridge, freezer, oven, grill or smoker. Chris loves to cook and enjoys introducing folks to wild game. Additionally, Chris is the R3 Coordinator for hunting in the state and uses food as a way to get new individuals involved in hunting.

Pat Bright
Pat Bright, Maryland Park Service, Brandywine

Pat is an avid hunter, fisherman, and forager. He also "throws down" in the kitchen, preferring to use wild ingredients that he harvested. He's shared many of his dishes at various DNR functions, training sessions, Park Ranger Schools, and other events over the last couple of decades. Following are some of his creations, some of which he's been pleased to serve his DNR colleagues: panko and parmesan crusted wild turkey breast with a wild ramp, morel mushroom cream sauce, wild mushrooms, and juniper venison sausage, beaver braised with red wine and wild hen of the woods mushrooms, seared line-caught cobia with a chanterelle mushroom ver blanc sauce.

Jacob Holtz
Jacob Holtz, Regulatory & Legislative Review

Jacob has fished his whole life and one of his favorite childhood memories is cooking his parents an anniversary dinner of crab-stuffed rockfish that he flambeed (as an 11 year old!). Jacob came into hunting in his late 20's, and venison is now the only red meat his family eats. One of his favorite passions is sharing prepared venison with family and friends who have zero exposure to wild game. For entertainment, Jacob watches almost exclusively cooking shows and hunting shows, many of which showcase how to cook wild meat.

Christina Holden
Christina Carlson, Park Ranger, Snow Hill

Christina was raised in a hunting family on the Eastern Shore. The family always utilized their game, having a passion for bringing wild, organic food to the table. When the family had a surplus of game, Christina learned new processing techniques and made sausage and jerky from snow geese - birds that are typically not appreciated for their culinary qualities. Christina coordinates an annual hunting trip to Colorado with fellow Marylanders, followed by a wild game dinner served to 40 people or more. The group typically cooks at least a dozen different dishes from a variety of big game, waterfowl, upland game, small game species and a variety of fish. Every participant proudly adds their Maryland touches.