Relishing wild foods and world cuisines


Pamela and the kitchen staff at TombstoneGathering wild-grown black walnuts and gooseberries, spearing freshwater carp and pikerel, and harvesting garden-fresh strawberries, eggplants, and potatoes on her parent’s upstate New York farm gave Pamela Krisan an early and rich culinary education.

“We raised or gathered all of our own food,” explains Pamela, who owns the Tombstone Restaurant. “I didn’t appreciate it at the time, even though it really helped me understand where food comes from. To me, at eight or nine, cooking was just another chore.”

All that changed when Pamela moved to New York City. As a young mother, she would gather groceries from nearby shops and markets and then experiment with cooking. “I was introduced to all the cuisines of the world,” she says. “I picked up and read cookbooks like novels. I discovered that I loved seeing the expression on people’s faces when they take a bite of something I’ve created in the kitchen.”

Print Recipe
Crab Cakes


  • 2 cans fresh lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1 cup bell peppers chopped
  • cups panko
  • cups mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil or butter


  1. Carefully comb the crabmeat for any shell or cartilage and set aside. Combine all other ingredients except for the crab meat, cooking oil, or butter. Once other ingredients are blended, add the crabmeat. Shape mixture into patties of roughly similar sizes, as this helps them to cook evenly.
  2. Refrigerate patties for 30 to 60 minutes, to help them hold together while cooking, and sprinkle with flour or breadcrumbs to encourage browning, if desired.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or butter in a saucepan, and then sauté each patty for 3 to 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Complement with freshly squeezed lemon or a favorite sauce, and serve with a leafy green salad or green beans and mashed potatoes.

Print Recipe
Herb Crusted Snapper


  • 4 fillets red snapper 4-6 oz. each, skinless
  • 4 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese grated
  • ½ cup fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary chopped
  • ½ cup fresh chives chopped
  • ¼ cup herb-infused oil
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil


  1. Melt butter and set aside. In a shallow bowl or pie pan, mix together bread crumbs, cheese, and herbs until blended. Add herb oil and melted butter to the seasoning mixture.
  2. Dip fillets in seasoning mixture, and generously coat both sides. Warm cooking oil in a heavy skillet. Sauté seasoned fillets for 3 minutes on each side over medium high heat until golden brown. Fish should flake with a fork.

Print Recipe
Curried Chicken Salad


  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup curry
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 4 cups roasted chicken diced
  • 2 cups celery diced
  • 1 cup walnuts roasted and chopped
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 1 cup seedless grapes halved
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Simmer canola oil and curry over a low heat for 30 to 60 seconds, and then cool to room temperature. Once cooled, blend oil and curry mixture with mayonnaise. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the curry, oil, and mayonnaise mixture until well blended. Enjoy on a salad of greens or with bread or crackers.

Print Recipe
Venison Chili
Leftovers can be frozen.


  • 5 lbs ground venison
  • 1 yellow or white onion diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 2 green bell peppers diced
  • 4 jalapeños seeded and diced
  • ½ cup garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsps smoked paprika
  • 4 Tbsps chili powder
  • 2 Tbsps onion powder
  • 2 Tbsps garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • chicken stock to cover
  • 3 cups kidney beans drained (optional)


  1. In a skillet, cook ground venison until fully browned. Separate out the venison fat, and set aside cooked venison. Using the venison fat, sauté onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, and garlic in large saucepan over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add cooked venison, seasonings, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock to sautéed vegetables. Bring mixture to a low boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix in kidney beans if desired. Continue to simmer chili for 20 more minutes. Serve with cornbread.

By Christine Switzer
Photos by Megan Fox

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