I lost my friend

by Krzysztof Turowski

My last weekend was full of hunting experiences, talks about hunting and hunting itself. However, despite the fantastic few days, I feel a huge emptiness in my heart
Despite the fact that I personally talked to Grzegorz Russak only a few times, I feel that I lost a friend who has accompanied me in my hunting path for a very long time.
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Before I formally started my hunting apprenticeship, I was a regular reader of the “Łowiec Polski” (Polish Hunter) magazine. I read every word from cover to cover. I remember when I opened the first purchased „Łowiec Polski” and I noticed with amazement that I was familiar with the faces from TV – Krzysztof Daukszewicz, Robert Makłowicz and Grzegorz Russak.

Texts of Grzegorz Russak captivated me with their originality. Despite the fact that it was a hunting kitchen, I did not deal with a typical cook. I was dealing with a virtuoso of hunting cuisine, who said about himself that his way of success is to leave himself a chance to change his taste. His cooking was not about recreating something from the recipe, but about creating something special, where the taste of the dish depended on our interpretation.

Grzegorz Russak’s texts were not typical recipe but fantastic tales not only about cooking, but also about game and hunting.

Even before the first hunt, Grzegorz Russak showed me how to properly take care of the venison, how to gut and divide the carcass of the acquired game. It was thanks to him that I was prepared for this task when it happened to me for the first time.

At the beginning, with Grzegorz Russak, we saw each other every month. We sat together in my living room, and I read as he talked about the game and our beautiful old Polish cuisine.

Even then I knew that my own hunting adventures would be crowned with our joint visit to the kitchen. I knew that after the hunt we would go to the kitchen together and Grzegorz would invite me to cook together.

After some time, Grzegorz Russak visited me more often, because of his books which appeared in my library.

“Tajemnice nalewek” (The Secrets of tinctures) and the “Wielka kuchnia myśliwska” (Great Hunting Kitchen) found a special place. It was there that we made good friends. Taking his book in his hand could be heard – come on my friend, let’s do something special together, but first listen to a story.

The first hunted boar, the first roe deer, the first pheasant or pigeon were an opportunity to meet and hear what he had to say to me. Even if at the beginning there were questions about the details of how to cook, I knew that the answer had already been answered, and I just did not listen with due attention.
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Grzegorz Russak accompanied me in preparing a Christmas pate from a hare.  I even met his grandmother Stefania while making a tincture from blackberry, with her golden advice.
His kitchen is more than a piece of meat and a recipe. His kitchen is a meeting with a friend and a story which he wanted to share.

Although we met several times personally and exchanged a few sentences, I feel sadness and sorrow in my heart. Polish hunting will not be the same anymore.
Grzegorz Russak left our world and go to the land of eternal hunts. He was a man full of passion and knowledge, A man who for many hunters was more than an author of books or television programs

Goodbye My friend,
Let the trees of the forest rustle forever.

Happy Hunting!

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