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Lukas Leaf

Lukas Leaf

Lukas Leaf is an avid, passionate outdoorsman and chef born and raised in Minnesota and has spent the majority of his cooking career specializing in wild game and foraged ingredients. From weekends on the ice in his family's fish shack on Mille Lacs Lake to spring fishing trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, connecting with nature and our cherished wild places has long been cemented as a way of life.

Lukas is a dedicated husband and father to twin girls and spends his free time fishing, foraging, hunting, camping, and cooking his way through the great outdoors. Lukas is the lead chef for Modern Carnivore, executive director at Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters, and a wild foods contributor for MeatEater.

Recent Posts

Fish Sliders with Pimento Cheese

Recipes

Fish Sliders with Pimento Cheese

Walleye openers have come and gone, and hopefully, many of you have fish in the freezer just waiting for a fun recipe to come along. This fish slider should do the trick and check all the boxes. Even if you’re a non-believer of the fish-and-cheese combo, I'm confident that a fried fish sandwich is...
Stuffed Trout

Recipes

Stuffed Trout

Cooking a fish whole adds an extra punch to the presentation and allows you to pick out all of those extra bits that are usually lost to filleting. This stuffed dish uses a fish cleaning technique called butterflying, a classic method for gutting and removing the bones from smaller fish in order to...
Ramp Pesto Pasta

Recipes

Ramp Pesto Pasta

Spring foraging is in full effect, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost as if the season changed overnight here in Minnesota. Social media is littered with posts about morel hunting and ramp harvesting, so naturally a simple recipe to honor our most lauded wild spring edibles is in order. Pesto...
Morel Mushroom Arancini

Recipes

Morel Mushroom Arancini

Arancini is an iconic Italian dish of deep-fried risotto balls, often filled with mozzarella cheese, a meat ragu, or both. The variations are endless but the real star of the show is the risotto itself, not the filling. It's rich and creamy with just the right texture and umami flavor. For this...
Venison Cheesesteak

Recipes

Venison Cheesesteak

What the best kind of cheesesteak is and where it's from are pretty hot topics, so I'm going to point out that this is just my version of the wildly popular sandwich. It's the way I wanted it at the time, and boy, was it good. Paper-thin sliced and flash seared meat served on proper bread with...
Rabbit à la King

Recipes

Rabbit à la King

À la King is mainly defined by a creamy sauce spiked with pimentos, mushrooms, and peas. It can be served over toast, biscuits, noodles, or rice. This version is served vol-au-vent or in a warm puff pastry case. It may look fancy, but this recipe can come together in less than an hour if you have...
Venison Calzones

Recipes

Venison Calzones

Calzones are the perfect meal for getting the whole family involved from start to finish. Enjoy watching the kids make a mess rolling out the doughs and layering in the ingredients. I made the sauce, ricotta, and sausage from scratch, but you can certainly go with store-bought ingredients for a...
Walleye En Papillote

Recipes

Walleye En Papillote

En papillote, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method that bakes an entire meal is a single pouch made of parchment paper. The folded envelope holds the moisture inside, steaming the food while cooking. Forming the packets resembles the classic pastry crimping technique used in pocket-style dishes...
Buffalo Squirrel Dip

Recipes

Buffalo Squirrel Dip

To me, nothing says Super Bowl party like a big spread of classic Midwest potluck fare. Call an audible and sub in squirrel for chicken in your buffalo dip this year and you're bound to turn some heads. By halftime and a few beers, even the most squirrelly guest will be digging in and maybe even...
Duck Chilaquiles

Recipes

Duck Chilaquiles

The best chilaquiles I’ve ever had was at a small Mexican spot in Ridgewood, Queens, NY. I loved it so much I went three days in a row. Everything about the dish was perfection: rich, full of braised goat in a dark red sauce, and the fried tortillas still had just the right amount of texture. Paired...