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Steven Rinella Serves Squirrel Lunch With Matching Wine

Rinella and protected sparrow--I'm sure he's careful to make the distinction before beheading them.

Rinella and protected sparrow–I’m sure he’s careful to make the distinction before beheading them.

Steven Rinella creeps me out. And it’s not just that he’s holding a captured sparrow in this photo from his New York Times Wednesday profile (ahem, a protected song sparrow that the Times swear was released just after). The piece is a disturbingly detailed account of a 45-course meal of “wild game” Rinella hunted, trapped, cooked and served in Brooklyn. Rinella, the author of The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine, seems to be less an adopter of slaughter chic or even “Kill It, Cook It, Eat It” than a man with some serious power and masculinity issues that he works out by illegally trapping squirrels in his girlfriend’s Fort Greene backyard.

One guest likened the meal to “a dead zoo.” It’s unclear whether she was referring to the spread of dead animals or the media-hungry audience of aging literati, from Bill Buford to Jay McInerney. But the biggest disappointment of the piece is Rob Weisbach, president and chief executive of Miramax Books, Rinella’s publisher, and a vegetarian for 20 years–until this dinner.

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