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Gourmet Food in the Outdoors? REI Employee Shares a Few Secrets

For Dane Tullock, the outdoors and good food always go together. The 44-year-old outreach specialist for the REI Boston and REI Hingham, Mass., stores has long been the designated chef for the many kayaking, fishing and backpacking trips he’s taken with family and friends.

He is such a cooking enthusiast, in fact, that he’s auditioned for TV’s MasterChef and last year started his own Cooking in the Great Outdoors website complete with cooking how-to videos. He is hoping to land future broadcast opportunities as well.

“I really enjoy combining a recreational activity, an outdoor setting, a gathering of people and good food,” Dane says. “Really good food makes it easier to bring people together in the outdoors.”

Want to try a sample of Dane’s work? Watch this video on how to make Green-eyed Susans. It’s fast and easy and could make you a hero of your next gathering, indoors or out.

While many of Dane’s recipes and tips are best suited for camping situations, even backcountry travelers can benefit from his wisdom.

Dane Tullock, outdoor chef

When asked for an example, Dane isn’t shy about sharing his secrets. His number one tip for outdoor cooking? “Take prosciutto fat with you,” he says. “Backpackers want something lightweight, and olive oil can be messy to carry. But prosciutto fat doesn’t weigh much, it renders into wonderful cooking oil and, because it’s cured, it doesn’t need refrigeration.”

He also recommends taking fresh herbs on any trip. “With dry rice, a few herbs and a fish I can catch, I can make a great meal,” he says.

Finally, for all of you outdoor-minded singles, the newly married chef passes along this bit of practical advice he learned back in his high-school dating days.

“The best way to get a second date?” he notes. “Cook for her.”

Posted on at 9:45 AM

Tagged: food and outdoor cooking

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Dane Tullock Staff Member

Thank you for featuring my blog and online video series. Working for REI is such a pleasure, in part because of how supportive the company is when employees embark on side projects such as this. Cooking in the Great Outdoors is a labor of love, assembled by myself and my videographer, Jeremy Pollard, in our spare time between work, families and in my case, kayak fishing and other outdoor adventures. I will be participating in several upcoming events in the Boston area doing outdoor cooking demos and even competing in a few cookoffs along the way. So please be sure to check out our blog and twitter feed for updates, more recipes and videos.

Dane Tullock
Creative Director - Cooking in the Great Outdoors
Outreach Specialist - REI Boston & Hingham

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looks great, can't wait to try it.thanks for sharing.
nice watch by the way.

Jamie Dreyer

Wow! That looks so good! Three of my favorite foods-egg, avocado and leaks! I need to head back to the grocery store before hitting the trail tomorrow.


Come out to REI in the Seattle Metro area and tech us some stuff!! Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely be following your website for sure!


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