Steven Rinella is an outdoorsman, writer, and television personality known for translating the hunting lifestyle to a wide variety of audiences. He is the author of The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, and most recently, Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter. In addition to writing, he is the host of MeatEater, a television series on The Sportsman Channel.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Media career
- 3 Awards and Nominations
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Steven Rinella was born in Twin Lake, Michigan on February 13, 1974. He grew up in Twin Lake along with his two older brothers, Matthew and Daniel Rinella, who were taught to hunt and fish at an early age by their father. As a child, Rinella was an avid reader of historical narrative and tall tales about the American wilderness, especially the exploits of his hero, Daniel Boone. He began fishing at the age of three and shot his first squirrel at eight and his first deer at thirteen. He trapped furbearing animals for the commercial markets from the time he was ten until he was twenty-two. Rinella graduated from Reeths Puffer High School in 1992 and claims to have chosen the colleges he attended according to the leniency of their schedules and their proximity to good hunting grounds. He finished his college degree at Grand Valley State University in December, 1996, after attending classes at Muskegon Community College and Lake Superior State University. He received a Masters of Fine Arts in 2000 from the University of Montana-Missoula.
Steven Rinella is the host of MeatEater, a weekly half-hour series that airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The Sportsman Channel. The show is based on Rinella's hunting adventures in such locations as Montana (deer, elk); Alaska (waterfowl, mountain goat, Dall sheep, caribou, black bear); Mexico (wild turkey, buffalo); New Zealand (tahr, chamois, red stag); Arizona (mountain lion, Coues deer); Wisconsin (white-tailed deer, rabbit); and California (wild pigs, quail.) The show offers a defense of the hunting lifestyle, and makes the case that hunters are obligated to be stewards of the land and protectors of their chosen prey species. The episodes include visceral food preparations that some viewers have described as startling. Examples include a deer's heart wrapped in caul fat and roasted over a fire, and javelina meat boiled inside animal's own stomach. The series premiered on January 1, 2012, and is currently in production on its third season.
The Wild Within
Previous to MeatEater, Rinella hosted The Wild Within, an 8-episode series on the Travel Channel
Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter
Meat Eater chronicles Rinella's lifelong relationship with nature and hunting through the lens of ten hunts, beginning when he was an aspiring mountain man at age ten and ending as a thirty-seven-year-old Brooklyn father who hunts in the remotest corners of North America. He tells of having a struggling career as a fur trapper just as fur prices were falling; of a dalliance with catch-and-release steelhead fishing; of canoeing in the Missouri Breaks in search of mule deer just as the Missouri River was freezing up one November; and of hunting the elusive Dall sheep in the glaciated mountains of Alaska.
American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt but beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. American Buffalo was published in 2008 by Spiegel and Grau. The book documents Rinella’s adventures tracking, killing, and butchering of a buffalo in the context of the natural history of the buffalo throughout the entirety of its existence on North America. Part hunting odyssey, part natural history, American Buffalo vividly describes the adventurous hunt in harmony with heavily researched, non-fiction writing about the history of the buffalo.
The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine
After stumbling upon Auguste Escoffier’s 1903 culinary milestone Le Guide Culinaire, outdoorsman, avid hunter, and nature writer Steven Rinella embarks on an unusual quest: to procure all necessary ingredients for a forty-five-course meal, born entirely of Escoffier’s esoteric wild game recipes.
Publications and news contributions
Rinella has been a frequent contributor to Outside magazine and he is currently listed on that magazine's masthead as a contributing editor. His features, essays, and reporting have appeared in many other publication, including Field and Stream, Glamour, Men’s Journal, Outside, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Salon.com, O the Oprah Magazine, Petersen's Hunting, Fly Fisherman, Bowhunter, and the anthologies Best American Travel Writing (2003 and 2010) and Best Food Writing (2005). He has appeared a number of times on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, where he discussed his hunting adventures, and has also been interviewed about hunting on such mainstream news outlets as CNN's American Morning and the Sunday broadcast of Fox and Friends.
"A Pig Roast or Bust", New York Times "The Case for Responsible Meat-Eating", O, The Oprah Magazine "Grand Theft Cattle", Outside Magazine "Go Big Or Go Home", Outside Magazine "Photo Essay", Field and Stream "How I Fell for my Complete Opposite", Glamour "Faith and Morels", Best Life "The Brotherhood of the Very Expensive Pants", Outside "Hot Pursuit", Plenty Magazine "1,000 Miles of Nada", Outside "Locavore, Get Your Gun", New York Times "Down, Boy", Outside "If You Are What You Eat", Outside "Fungus Rising", New Yorker
Awards and Nominations
In 2012, MeatEater was nominated for four Sportsman Choice Awards for Best New Series, Best Host, Best Hunting Show and Best Educational Show 
In 2011, The Wild Within was a James Beard Awards finalist for best Television Program, On Location.
American Buffalo won a number of awards including the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. It was also chosen by Amazon.com as a Book of the Month selection and by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best fifty non-fiction books of 2008.
- Pursuits; Books: Gastronomy; The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine
- Bakshian, Aram. Wall Street Journal [New York, N.Y] 11 Mar 2006: .10.
- STYLE & CULTURE; BOOK REVIEW; Buffalo, from plains to plate; American Buffalo; In Search of a Lost Icon; Steven Rinella; Spiegel & Grau
Ciabattari, Jane. Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles, Calif] 05 Dec 2008: .17.