The pitch for SquirrelFest came during a cider festival at Ironbound Farms, while Ben Walmer and friends from Highland Dinners Club were cooking the leg from a yak (raised on a neighboring farm) over open fire. I threw out the idea, but a few months later, the group really made it come to life, and that fall, the inaugural event was born. I missed last year’s fest, but flew up in November for the third iteration—by far the biggest and richest to date. Between the hunters in the group, we ended up with 35 squirrels to cook, but the crew added to that a LOT of fresh venison, a groundhog, turtle meat, and an impressive display of locally grown and foraged vegetables and herbs. I spent most of the day winging a squirrel and turtle soup (an Atchafalaya surf-and-turf), but managed to snap a few pics of the festivities. Thanks to Ben and the HDC family for being willing to get weird, and for Ironbound for hosting (and encouraging) such incredible food events.