If you've read either of my two previous cookbooks, you've already seen the name 'Dave McGonigal' associated with several recipes. And if you've tried any of them, you already know how good they are! If you guessed Dave to be of Irish descent, you'd be half right. His mother's family came from the Basque provinces of Spain, which obviously doesn't show up in his name. Many of the recipes in Dave's collection are straight from the Basque herders who tended the sheep camps of the family's ranch. Dave put himself through college working as a chef. One of the establishments he worked at was a Basque restaurant owned by a relative. Since then he has continued to hone his cooking skills. A couple of years ago when two of his cousins opened Epi's, a new Basque restaurant in Meridian, Idaho, Dave took time off from his day job to help them get started. Whether in camp or in the kitchen, Dave's cooking is as good as it gets in my book, or so I thought.
Just when I thought Dave's cooking couldn't get any better, he married Cathey! As she puts it, "I'm Japanese on my Mom's side and a mix of questionable European ancestors on my Dad's side." Cathey's mom, Shimeno, married her Dad while he was in the Navy stationed in Osaka, Japan. After living in San Diego and Hawaii, her Dad retired and the family moved to Fairfield, Idaho, where her dad was born and raised. She remembers eating some great seafood as a child and many dishes of the Asian culture.
In 1998 Pen and I floated the Salmon River with Dave and Cathey. On that trip it didn't take long to figure out that Cathey easily held her own in the kitchen with Dave! It doesn't matter whether the two of them have been hunting, fishing, or mushroom picking, Cathey takes the fruits of those trips and goes in an entirely different culinary direction than Dave. Needless to say, it did not take long for some crossover to occur. The other day while talking with Cathey on the phone, she told me Dave had made his Basque beef tongue recipe the evening before, but this time he'd made it teriyaki style! Need I say more?
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