Hunting the Goose of Patagonia

At the end of April this year I was offered the opportunity to escape the deluge of Winter rains in Northern California for a 10 day shoot in Patagonia.  I knew I’d be missing a couple episodes of Game of Thrones since I wouldn’t be able to stream my HBO Go across the equator…but it seemed like a worthwhile sacrifice :)

Osprey packs had us on a secret mission for a new pack line they’re launching (shh) and I’d been recruited to direct a documentary style film for it.  Obviously I can’t talk much about that project right now as it’s still in the editing suite, but I’ll be excited to share that when it drops (and hopefully slays at the film festival circuit).

Patagonia though, let’s talk about that.  I have to admit that the core-climber in me was a bit sour at the idea of getting that close to Torres Del Paine and having to work rather than rage in the Alpine.  But I soon overcame my limited perspective on what Patagonia is - as the place charmed the pants off me within the first second of landing there.  “It’s more of an idea than a place”, says our friend Jackie Nourse.

Though I packed my climbing shoes between all the cameras, lenses, gimbals, audio gear, and computers I didn’t put them on once - and that was fine.  It turns out that my other core passion (well OK, I’m a chronic poly-aficionado), food, was well attended to by Patagonia.  Since South Americans don’t start dinner until 8pm, it meant that we had plenty of time after our daily wrap to dine out well into the evening.

One evening we stopped into the little palafito restaurant next door to our guesthouse hoping for a good bite.  What we didn’t realize in our jet-lagged and delirious state was that we were dropping in without a reservation on one of the top restaurants in the realm of Patagonia, Cazador!

The pure magic of what we experienced that night spun me out into a culinary delirium.  I determined immediately that I had to document Cazador.  I stretched my (beginners: Chapter 1 through 5) Spanish to the absolute limits to pitch the owners on contracting me to shoot their cookbook - and they agreed!

I did a short test shoot the next day to document a piece of the experience, but what they do there is so much more than I could begin to capture in an afternoon.  On returning home, Conde Nast Traveler ran a piece on the island that hosts Cazador with a couple of my images.  To their point, “don’t miss the braised goose” - of course, the menu is SO seasonal, you might just miss it :)  I’m looking forward to my next trip down to follow up with Mauricio and Alejandra and whatever endemic gastronomic wizardry they’re concocting.

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