Chef David Guas was featured in the article “Sustenance and Soul” written by Oliver Hartner and photographed by William Hereford. David is a professional chef and owner of the Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery. The crew traveled to Maryland to hunt birds with David and his son and ate some fine food in the field. He carries with him a passion for the outdoors and an understanding that this must be passed on to the next generation. We recently caught up with David to learn more about him and his passions.
Q: Where do you call home?
A: Northern Virginia
Q: Most influential hunting mentor?
A: Dean Richard is a hardcore hunter down in Abbeville, Louisiana. Dean and his wife even named their son “Teal.” I love to be in a blind with Dean watching him work his dog. He can spot and name every type of duck in the sky from 100 yards away. I’ve never seen that man miss!
Q: What is your favorite dish to cook?
A: Gumbo: Because it forces me to slow down and layer flavors. It’s also very forgiving with wild game. I’m in love with the ritual all together.
Q: Most favorite game bird dish to cook, how?
A: Duck Gumbo: Because it uses, mostly, all teal and or mallards. Teal are by far one of the better eating ducks in my opinion. Teal was actually one of the first duck species that I ever shot and ate. In Louisiana, it feels like they are everywhere during migration season. Teal are fast and fly in tight flocks which can make for an added challenge. I’m not entirely sure what it is, clearly their diet helps, but teal are small and tender like doves.
Q: The most critical need in hunting conservation?
A: Financial support is needed to continue to reinvest in nesting grounds for our migratory birds.
Q: #1 Bucket-list hunt?
A: Right now I’m dreaming of dove hunting in Argentina. Let’s go!
Q: Shotgun of choice?
A: 12 gauge, Benelli M2: It’s light. I have the 28-inch barrel for longer shots, but you can’t shoot a 3.5-inch shell from it. When I hunt for geese, I always have my pattern-master choke to give me the extra kick I need for taking down bigger waterfowl, otherwise for all ducks and doves, it’s all I need.
Q: Pointing dogs or flushing dogs?
A: Flushing: As much as I love to watch pointers work, I prefer to give myself a little extra challenge. Flushing dogs get up in the air fast, but not always when you’re ready.
Q: Most important advice you’ve given to your sons about the outdoors?
A: I like to teach my sons to lead with respect. Only take shots that are “kill shots,” use the whole animal, and honor it for giving its life for your consumption. It is also important to me that we discuss how my sons fit into the chain of life as a legal, registered hunter.
Q: Most memorable moment from your hunt with Covey Rise?
A: At the end of the hunt, we sat outside of the flooded corn fields, grilling whole ducks on my Kudu and passing a small-batch bottle of brown spirits around for a swig, while watching 5,000-plus ducks fly back into the corn as the sun dropped behind the landscape. It just doesn’t get much better!
Q: What you hope readers learn from your article in Covey Rise?
A: If you do not have a young hunting partner, a son or daughter, nephew or niece, find someone to share this incredible ritual with. It is extremely rewarding. It can open doors between you and your children, and the memories truly last a lifetime.
The feature on Chef David Guas “Sustenance and Soul” by Oliver Hartner was originally published in Volume 8, Number 5 (Aug-Sept 2020) of Covey Rise.
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