Wild Bill's Hobo stew began at camping trip

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM

In May, "Wild Bill" Featheringill started Wild Bill Concessions. The Huron resident, a RR Donnelley maintenance worker, has provided Italian sausage, bratwurst, french fries and pulled pork barbecue at six or eight gigs since then.

But he is best known for making hobo stew. Featheringill came up with the recipe during a mid-1970s camping trip when he was designated the cook.

"We just threw a bunch of beef and vegetables together in the woods," he said. "A lot of people make it over the open fire."

Featheringill, 48, makes his trademark recipe for gatherings such as weddings, graduations and motorcycle events.

"I do it a couple times a year and people like it," he said.

Besides cooking, Featheringill's other hobby is motorcycles. He owns two Harley-Davidson bikes, a 1999 Electric Glide Classic and a 2003 Sportster.

"I eat a lot of Italian sausage," he said about the meals he fixes most often. "I eat the same things I make. ... I eat a lot of chicken, too."

Featheringill considers seafood, beef and chicken his top-three comfort foods. He often prepares fish and fries when he has to prepare a meal for unexpected company.

When it comes to potluck dinners, he usually makes seafood alfredo.

He recalled the worst thing he ever made.

"I put ribs in the oven and fell asleep (for) about six hours," Featheringill said. "I threw them away. They weren't edible."

His tip to other cooks is simple: "The more you cook, the better you get."

One would assume that a man nicknamed "Wild Bill" who rides Harley-Davidsons and makes hobo stew would have an interesting story for the name. Featheringill, however, couldn't come up with any anecdotes.

"About everybody (named Bill) is 'Wild Bill,' ain't they?," he said with a hearty laugh.

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