Behind-the-Scenes Look at OL's Venison Shoot

The OL venison shoot took place in the test kitchen of our sister magazine Saveur. On the to-do list: Prepare five dishes using five different cuts of venison, based on recipes by three top game chefs. Here, a rump roast being tied for the "Dutch Oven Garlic-Rosemary-Studded Venison Rump" from chef John Reilly of the Village Market and Bakery in upstate New York.
Preparations began early in the morning, with kitchen staff measuring, cleaning and chopping ingredients.
We shopped for everything we needed in the two days before the shoot. Most of the vegetables and herbs came from Union Square Market, which features an incredible variety of locally grown produce. Chefs from all over Manhattan shop there for their restaurants.
The Saveur pantry is extremely well stocked and organized.
The test kitchen was a flurry of activity -- and of course, it's large enough to accommodate this kind of intense cooking.
The aroma from the Applewood-bacon-wrapped venison loin was incredible. For the full recipe, go to Perfect Venison.
Hunter Lewis (left) and Todd Coleman run the Saveur test kitchen and were really into the idea of doing an all-venison shoot. Hunter is also an expert at roasting a wild turkey. For his tips, go to Cooking Wild Turkey.
Outdoor Life associate art director Shayna Marchese browsed through the cabinets in search of rustic-looking platters and casseroles for the shoot.
We worked from a rough layout that Shayna and photo editor Justin Appenzeller had done beforehand, which helped the photographer determine the shape of each photograph.
The photographer, Andre Baranowski, is renowned for his still life, food and travel photography. In addition to Saveur, he has worked for such magazines as Better Homes and Gardens and Food and Wine. Here he's checking a shot for lighting and cropping.
The test kitchen has every kind of pot, pan and utensil you can imagine. The windows face north for the best shooting light.
Assistant kitchen director, Ben Mims, works on browning venison pieces for the "Crockpot Autumn Venison Stew" recipe from chef Walter Bundy of the famed Lemaire restaurant in Richmond, Virginia.
Looking good--and again, the smell was irresistible. Later in the day, we did get a chance to sample the food (in case you were wondering). It tasted as good as it looked!
The sides were also important--Hunter prepared some killer "pommes frites" for the venison loin dish. (Here at OL we just call them French fries.)
You can almost hear the sizzle of these "Grilled Drunken Venison Chops," also from chef Reilly. For tips from chef John Schumacher on how to grill the perfect steak, click here. Click back here to the Venison Page >>

Take a sneak peak at how we shot our December/January venison feature.