10th Annual United Way of Fort Smith Area “Power of the Purse” Luncheon and Auction
All proceeds from the Power of the Purse event are used to purchase
books for local children through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program.
Television personality, chef, author, and outdoor adventurer Georgia Pellegrini has quickly become
known as a contemporary Martha Stewart, working to help women tap into their modern day pioneer
spirit by teaching them how to grow a small-space garden, assemble the makings of a self-sufficient
pantry, learn to navigate a compass for their next camping trip, or even forage for plants that give you
energy. Georgia is the author of multiple books, her latest: Modern Pioneering: More than 150
Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life [Clarkson Potter, released spring 2014] was
met with rave reviews. Packed with beautiful photographs and illustrations that showcase not only a
cookbook but backyard gardening and homesteading tips, Modern Pioneering is unlike any other book
on shelves today. Georgia first made waves with her book Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We
Eat, One Hunt at a Time [Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2012] which documented her adventure as a
classically-trained New York chef, venturing out into the wild to embrace her lifelong love of cooking and
exploring the real world of local, organic, sustainable food. The book was named one of the Top 10
Sports Books of 2012 by Booklist, and a Best Book of the Month by Amazon.! !
Georgia grew up on the same land that her great grandfather owned and worked: a farm called
Tulipwood in New York’s Hudson Valley. She had a passion from an early age for good, simple food,
catching her own trout for breakfast in the creek on her family’s land. Her connection to nature stayed
with her through college, even during the years she ventured into the corporate world of finance.
Something was tugging at her to return back to the land. After a bit of soul searching, Georgia decided
to leave her cubicle behind and enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York City. She began
working at farm-to-table restaurants, first at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and then at Gramercy Tavern in
New York. At the former, when asked to slaughter and butcher a few turkeys for the restaurant she felt
the most visceral sense of connection to the food. “The experience was invigorating and awakened the
primal part in me,” she recalls. “All of a sudden, I had this purpose to pay the full price of the meal, to
become a responsible omnivore and understand the process from farm to plate.”! !
Georgia went on to work at La Chassagnette, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the south of France,
spending her days driving heavy farm equipment and harvesting ingredients for dinner. She found that
she was most interested in the foragers, fig collectors, and salami makers who arrived to the
restaurants with their goods, and she soon went on journeys with them – through the woods, into curing
rooms, and over the rolling hills of olive oil vineyards. Her first book, Food Heroes [Stewart, Tabori &
Chang, 2010] tells the story of 16 culinary artisans across the world who are fighting to preserve their
food traditions. The book was met with critical acclaim and was nominated for an International
Association of Culinary Professionals award.! !
Georgia chronicles her adventures in meeting food artisans and gathering her ingredients on her wildly
popular website www.georgiapellegrini.com. She also utilizes the site to show women from all walks
of life and ages, that they can grow food efficiently and even try foraging, camping, and living off the
land… self-sufficiency is the ultimate girl power. Georgia is also the creator of Adventure Getaways
across the country, where women can take two and three days trips that include a combination of
outdoor activities, horseback riding, clay shooting, fly fishing, hunting for birds, chef-prepared meals,
cooking classes, and more. ! !
Georgia has been featured in dozens of media outlets including: “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Iron Chef
America,” “The Today Show,” “Real Sports” on HBO, NPR, Martha Stewart Radio, “Alicia
Mendez Tonight” on Fusion, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Food &
Wine, ESPN, Town & Country, More Magazine, and The New York Post, to name a few. When
Georgia isn’t delving into local food ways at home in Austin, TX she’s roaming the world hunting and
gathering, tasting good food, and meeting the great people who make it.