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Hi. I’m Brian Kavanagh otherwise known as The Sophisticated Caveman.

I’m a creative professional with a special place in my heart for food- especially the tasty and nutritious kind that I can cook myself.

I guess you could say passion for food is in my blood.

Growing up, my grandfather (a former army cook) would express his love for us by the amount of food he could manage to stuff in our bellies.

My mom seemed to inherit this family culinary love language. From an early age I found myself helping out in the kitchen, learning from her and later experimenting with my own recipes.

I’ve been on a health journey.

Unfortunately my love for food also had some negative consequences on my waistline.

Through the years I struggled off and on with my weight, although I never really felt I was eating that poorly. I wasn’t consuming mountains of junk food, just plenty of “healthy” whole grains and pasta.

Somehow no matter how much I starved myself or exercised to exertion, I simply couldn’t loose enough weight.

In 2012 something within me clicked. I stopped counting calories and grams of fat and started looking at the actual ingredients in my food and where they were coming from.

Through my research, I soon discovered the Paleo movement and it was a revelation.

I stopped counting calories and grams of fat and started looking at the actual ingredients in my food and where they were coming from.

With minimal effort I started to shed pound after pound and get in the best shape of my life.

I love hiking and the outdoors.

On my health journey I also rediscovered one of my favorite forms of exercise: hiking.

For me, I’ve found that it is the perfect blend of physical exertion and mental mediation.

So when I’m not cooking in the kitchen, I’m usually outside on some sort of trail.

In 2019, I decided to attempt something that had been on my bucket list for a long time: thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I hiked the entire 2,192 miles from Georgia to Maine in a little over four months (that’s why my trail name was “Fast Lane”).

It was the adventure of a lifetime and you can read all about my journey here.

The Sophisticated Caveman at the summit of Mt. Katahdin on the Appalachian Trail.

I’m a Certified Mushroom Forager.

I’ve also always been fascinated by fungi.

At a young age I would go out foraging for mushrooms with my grandfather. This taught me at an early age that wild mushrooms are something to celebrate, not fear.

Throughout the years, I’ve been deepening my knowledge about mushrooms and foraging.

I recently received my mushroom foraging license by passing an extensive exam. This means I can legally sell foraged mushrooms to restaurants and markets in over a dozen states.

The Sophisticated Caveman holding a bear's head tooth mushromm

I’m glad you’re here.

While I don’t know if going Paleo is for everyone, I do believe that its core message – eat real food – is universal.

With this creed always in mind, I try to keep my recipes simple but with an added “touch of class.”

I’m here to share what I have learned with others as I continue my journey towards becoming the most sophisticated of cavemen.

I’m glad you’re along for the ride.


Saturday 12th of August 2023

If nirvana was a website...(and that beard though!). May we all continue to grow, create, eat! Cheers!


Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Love your creative twist ..I will be making your recipes daily and for the holidays coming up 😉..thank you for your innovative thoughts on creating new designs in whole foods 😊

The Sophisticated Caveman

Friday 9th of December 2022

Thank you so much!! Really appreciate the comment!

Jennifer Serbin

Thursday 28th of July 2022

I am so happy to have found your website. I feel passionate about changing the relationship with our food. I work on permaculture farms in TN and KY. It has been an incredible experience! However, once the food is harvested, I don't know what to do with it. Unlike you, I grew up with microwave and boxed dinners. As an adult, I worked in various fine dinning restaurants with some of the best chefs. I was often ate at work, and never learned to cook for myself. Exposure to the best led to high expectations for myself. Honestly, it seemed I had no idea how to boil water. Over the years, I built a wall of frustration that I hope to breakthrough. Recently, I was foraging in my woods and found an incredible specimen of "Chicken of the Woods" mushrooms. I am using your recipe to prepare it. Thank you for helping me along my journey. You are amazing! Keep up the good work!

The Sophisticated Caveman

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Thank you so much! It's amazing to hear about your transformation--and it's honor to be helping you in any way I can!


Monday 4th of July 2022

Ok, where have you been all my cooking life? Love your site. I will be a frequent reader.

The Sophisticated Caveman

Monday 18th of July 2022

Welcome, Debra! :)


Friday 28th of January 2022

Hi Brian, Congrats on your health journey. You look awesome at this weight, even you smile shows more confidence. Very Handsome! I get that. 50lbs heavier I dreaded pictures, and it showed. Now, bring it on.

Came across a 2011 Korean study with pine needles I wanted to share..

Wishing you health & happiness on your journey Lee

The Sophisticated Caveman

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Thanks so much, Lee! And that is a really interesting study--good to know that hot water may be the best way to go for pine needle benefits!