Work that kills

Maybe local hunter Jackson Landers doesn’t know where he’s been—in the press, that is, as he hadn’t yet seen his mention in last week’s Food and Drink Annual when we called—but he sure knows where he’s going. “I spend a lot of time in the boondocks,” he says, all in the name of research for upcoming projects. 

In addition to the large-scale projects that occupy his time, Jackson Landers hosts a local deer hunting class. The most recent session finished up last weekend, but Landers says he’s about 70 percent sure he’ll offer one at the end of November.

The Locavore Hunter, as he’s called, is at work on his second book, Eating Aliens, in which he describes a different ecologically disruptive animal in each chapter. “[I talk about] how it got here, how it’s affecting the ecosystem,” he says. Then, he hunts and cooks the animal. He just got back from a trip to Boca Grande, Florida, where he was pursuing the black spiny tailed iguana.

If this is sounding a little like “Man v. Food,” that’s because it is—Landers recently wrapped production of a pilot for the “Eating Aliens” TV show. It’s currently being shopped around to four different networks. 

Also snapping up his time is his work with Slow Food NYC, a longstanding national movement dedicated to, in a nutshell, food appreciation. On October 30, Landers and Slow Food will host an event for hunting, cooking and eating the Canadian geese that New York State recently announced plans to euthanize. “If you’re killing these animals,” he says, “the least you could do is hunt and eat them.” It’s a philosophy Landers is dedicating his life to. In fact, in early September, he quit an 11-year career as an insurance salesman to hunt full time. But he’s not doing it just for fun.

“I don’t want people to think I’m being cavalier about this,” Landers says. “I’m offering this as an alternative to eating factory-farmed meat.”  

Bye-bye, Chang

Despite dishy rumors that acclaimed chef Peter Chang was planning to open shop at the former Asian Buffet space on Rte. 29N, as Restaurantarama reported a few weeks ago, that is not the case. Atlanta Cuisine reported last week that Chang will open a restaurant in Atlanta, to be named Peter Chang’s, by the end of this year. 

Mas drama

The owner of Belmont tapas spot Mas, Tomas Rahal, was taken into custody Friday, October 15, after an alcohol-related traffic accident, during which he sideswiped a police car. Rahal was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to stop for an accident and refusal to submit to a breath test. A hearing has been scheduled for December 17.   

Chili out there

The Old Trail Chili Cook-Off is upon us and the judges have been announced: Brian Geiger (from, Trailside Coffee owner Marcia McGee and Newsplex Meteorologist Travis Koshko will comprise the expert panel. Koshko says this will be his first Charlottesville-based cook-off, but that he was a judge for a similar event in Pennsylvania six years running. “I’m very seasoned in judging chili,” he tells us. (Pun intended?)

This year’s event, at Old Trail Golf Clubhouse in Crozet, is Saturday, November 6, from 1-5pm. If you’re just lookin’ to chow down, $15 gets you all the chili you can handle. Bonus: Proceeds from the event benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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