Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations
George Bryant, of Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations, has been on active duty United States Marine Corp since 2002. Upon returning from Afghanistan last year, he decided to change his lifestyle and taught himself how to cook, eat Paleo, and started a website all in the same day. The Civilized Caveman is known for his tasty recipes and amazing food photography. In a short amount of time, he has gained a huge following and is an inspiration to all. He somehow managed to squeeze in some time to be this month’s featured chef, and created some delicious recipes perfect for grilling season.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I started teaching myself how to cook the same day I started eating Paleo. March 15th, 2011 was the day to be exact. I had just got home from a 7 month tour in Afghanistan and when I made the decision to change my lifestyle, I realized it no longer involved going out to eat 5 times a week. All those ingredients there lead me to teach myself how to cook, eat Paleo, and start my website all the same day. So I guess the big secret is out now, my website has been as much of a teaching experience for myself as it has been everyone else. Shhhh, don’t tell.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
So if you are looking for a professional Chef answer on this one, I am not the guy. Up until the day I started eating Paleo I was so ignorant to where my food came from or what it ate. NOW is a completely different story and I am still learning everyday. The biggest difference is that by choosing to eat grass-fed meat and wild caught fish is that you are eating food the way it was intended. Nothing genetically modified, fattened to make more money, colored to look more appealing, or pumped full of hormones just to be edible. After eating grass-fed beef for over a year now, I actually get sick to my stomach when I eat grain fed meat when out to dinner on that rare occasion. That is my body telling me I am doing something right and I will keep doing it. As far as cooking, the biggest difference is the simplicity that goes along with it. When you cook grass-fed beef and wild caught fish, there is no reason to muddle it down with other flavors, the food speaks for itself. It makes the home chef look like a pro with just some simple technique.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
Honestly in the beginning for me it was just about health. After some time in the lifestyle though I quickly learned it was more than just that. It is about setting up our next generation for success with sustainable farming and ethically treating our food so it lasts. I honestly wish I could take every human being ignorant to where their food comes from, and show them exactly what they are eating. I bet this whole grass-fed grass finished sustainable farming concept would spread like wild fire.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
I learned about grass-fed meat from reading every Paleo and Primal book I could get my hands on. The book that changed my life was the Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and that’s where it all started. After that, a quick google search, and I immersed myself in every bit of research I could find. Once I made the change and the health benefits became apparent by experiencing them I was hooked for life. Don’t believe me, you can come check the deep freezer in my garage stocked to the rim with grass-fed meat.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
When referencing grass-fed meat and wild caught fish I can keep this simple. They are healthier, they are better for the planet, and they are simple. Easy enough right?
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
This is by far my favorite question, since I am just a home chef. Just for the record, I laughed out loud just now calling myself a chef, I don’t feel like that title fits. I would like to think I am the king of organized chaos when it comes to ingredients. I just have no gripes about trying anything out of the ordinary and it is the only way to learn. I also like to consider myself a closet rebel, only bad when no one else is around but that works for me since I am always cooking alone. I love breaking all the rules of traditional cooking and just seeing what happens and a lot of times it ends up with a delicious product that leaves most people scratching their head. And yes I just realized I blabbed for a whole paragraph without answering the question so here you go: The most important thing for the home chef is to have fun and enjoy what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of the box. What’s the worst that can happen, it doesn’t taste right? Ok no problem, nothing bacon can’t fix so just try it and put your heart into it. And just on that note, US Wellness Meats now has completely sugar free bacon which is delicious. So stock up and your always covered in the event of a culinary learning lesson.
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
I feel like everyone is expecting a long answer on this one but its not going to happen. You can ask me or any of your other featured chefs and I guarantee you that we all agree on one thing. Simple is better when it comes to grass-fed beef. We are eating the beef because it tastes amazing, not to cover it with other flavors. A simple grilled tenderloin with salt and pepper and my heart is content.