Hey all, excited to share the interview I had with hunter, chef, and entrepreneur, Erik Sun. Erik is the owner of a spearfishing company, the executive chef behind The Bos Creek, and is creating a reality hunting/cooking show called The Pursuit of Food. He currently lives and does a majority of his hunting in California, and will soon be opening a few restaurants in the region.  In this interview, Erik shares his transition from what started as a passion to what many enthusiasts would consider a dream career.  Before we get the interview, watch his awesome video!

Hey Erik, thanks for agreeing to meet with me.  There are so many things we could get into, and I guess it’s best to start at, well, the start, hah.  So tell me, how did you get into hunting and food?

Sure man, well, it started when I was in jr. high.  I grew up in a beach community so would go to the beach often.  One day I was out at the beach and saw some older guys spearfishing in scuba gear.  It looked awesome, and so I got my scuba certification, but I became more interested in the free-diving aspect of spearfishing, so moved further in that direction.

Years later, I bought a spearfishing company in South Africa, where I would source spearfishing equipment.

As far as hunting on land, I first went hunting with a bow, and moved up from there.

Awesome.  So, I saw the commercial for your show on the The Pursuit of Food site.  Bad. Ass.  I’m really into the ethos behind it, honoring the food and wasting nothing.  Also, I love how you change the camera perspective to a first-person shooter perspective to give us an idea of what this looks like...it’s like watching Counter Strike for hunting.  Given your background, I understand how the dots would’ve connected from your passion to this show, but how does one get into starting a TV show like this?

Haha, yeah, I really liked the Counter Strike perspective too.  I should make it clear to anyone reading this that I'm not yet a host of a TV show or anything...this is definitely something that's still in the works.  But as far as how this got started, I used to be active on some of the spearfishing and hunting forums.  Most places only showed the fish or the deer after they caught or killed it, so it’s kind of empty and it doesn’t tell the whole story.  It makes sense that a lot of people outside of the hunting sphere think we’re killing just for the picture, which is entirely not true.  I wanted to show what really is going on behind the scenes, and also show how to respect the food that is killed and prepared.

What has been the most challenging part of putting a TV show together?

I’d say trying to find the boundary for what’s too much for the audience while still being authentic with the experience.  Also, how to find that balance of drama that will get people coming back to the show.  The other thing is when hunting, you don’t actually know whether you’re going to get something or not.  And if you’re hunting on TV...then not catching something isn’t really an option, hah.

Hah, yeah I guess I never thought of that.  And the other component to the hunting part seaurchindivingis the cooking element.  In the realm of cooking, I’m aware that you’re the chef behind Bos Creek.  Can you tell me about Bos Creek and how that ties into your view on hunting?

Yeah, so Bos Creek started off as a subscription company selling grass-fed beef from Montana.

When I hunt, I’m all about the quality of the meat.  For example, I primarily hunt wild boar that feed on diets consisting of almonds, pistachios, and figs.  The type of foods an animal consumes will determine the taste of the meat, and we take this approach with Bos Creek.  We approach the Bos Creek from a taste factor, rather than just saying “no hormones”.

A lot of new ranchers think that they can just throw cows on grass and that the beef is going to taste good, but it’s a lot more complex than that.  You have to take into account the genetics of the cows themselves, the grass must be at a certain pH level, and the diets must be very specific.  We can actually change the taste of the meat depending on what the animal eats.

Now we’ve opened it up so that as opposed to just a subscription model, you can order whenever and we’ve expanded our line to free range chicken and pork, with no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.

Okay, now I'm really interested in hunting.  I’m curious, what would you recommend for someone like me looking to get started into hunting?

Well, I’d suggest finding a hunting mentor.  Some of these things you can read about (especially about the permits you need and such), but by the end of the day you’ll only get better by going out and actually hunting.

It’s one of those things that even if you don’t catch anything, you’ll learn new skills and pick up on patterns in terms of how animals move.

For spearfishing, I recommend starting with a pole spear, which requires you to get within a couple feet of the fish.

For hunting on land...hmm...I’d say get started with a bow.  When hunting, it can be difficult to get even within a quarter mile of your target because of the animal’s acute sense of smell, but you’ll learn to be a better hunter this way.

Awesome.  To wrap this up, the thing I love most about what you do is how you tie in your companies with things you’d normally do for your hobbies/passion.  I’ve heard people recommend not mixing hobbies with your work, but you’re clearly making it happen.  Can you touch on this?

For me, one thing just led to another to get to where I am with this.  Really, just go after your dreams.  My dream as a kid was to have a television show. Keep the dream alive...go after what you’re hungry for [no pun intended].

I love it.  If I have any questions about hunting or cooking, hopefully I’ll be able to hit you up!   Speaking of which, how can people learn more about you and follow along in what you’re doing?

Sure, I’d recommend going to thepursuitoffood.com.  I constantly post about restaurants I’m going to or new dishes I’m working on, or new hunts.  Or if you're looking to try possibly the best steak you've ever had, check out theboscreek.  Or you can also find me on Instagram...I post lots of food @pursuitoffood.