JP Yampey

I don’t know what it is, but as long as I can remember, I have always felt a close relationship with nature and nature’s bounty.

I grew up in the suburbs just outside of Houston, Texas, in a family that mostly fished and crabbed on the gulf coast. My grandfather would hunt whitetail every season he could, and no matter how much I begged, I never was given the opportunity to hunt with him. Perhaps that is why I am so passionate about hunting now. He and I were quite close, and I still hunt with the Remington 700 (30-06) he passed on to me.

Throughout high school, I worked as an apprentice chef to CEC Chef Jacques Fox at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel (he is now Chef/Owner of Artisans in Houston). There, I learned the many techniques of working with food and a love of making people happy with food. Of particular note, I was fascinated with charcuterie. After a couple of years working in a professional kitchen, I knew it was not the life for me, but the love of preparing food for smiles has been with me ever since.

After high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and soon traveled all over Europe, including living in Iceland, Italy, and Germany. While living in Italy, I met my wife, who is just as passionate about new cultures and foods as me. After living in Germany, I left the Navy, and we moved to Belgium, where I learned quite a lot about beer and cheese culture.

After Belgium, we decided to move back to Germany, and it was then that I discovered both German and European hunting culture. I fell in love with it, actually. So much so that I have taught classes to aspiring hunters, managed a hunting area, and become good friends with many outstanding German hunters. I now primarily hunt in the Black Forest and am in constant pursuit of wild boar (we have some big ones), red deer, and roe deer.

Since becoming a hunter in Germany, I have truly brought together my culinary background with my love of charcuterie and hunting. I have taught classes on sausage making and game preparation. I also love salt curing and smoking various cuts of wild game with my hunting friends.

When I am not hunting or cooking, I am usually in the gym, as bodybuilding is also a crucial part of my life. I compete in all-natural bodybuilding and in the classic physique or men’s physique class.

I look forward to sharing European hunting culture, German and Romanian (my wife is Romanian) game recipes, and how I incorporate wild game into bodybuilding with the Harvesting Nature audience.

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