Its that time of year when chefs are spotted stumbling around the countryside looking for produce. But, more than what you pick, its how you cook your haul that really matters
The nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping and the trees are heavy with fruit. That can only mean one thing. Once again the hedgerows are going to be full of pasty-faced young men and women, wearing jumpers over their chefs whites, stumbling about looking for produce. Not for these guys the mundane business of phoning up suppliers and getting ingredients delivered. Oh no. They are living life on the edge. They are suckling at Mother Natures very teat. They are foragers.
In terms of self-marketing the appeal is obvious. Foraging turns restaurant cooks from mere stove jockeys into horny-handed earth children who can rock a cable-knit sweater. They arent merely making dinner; they are celebrating the wellspring of creation. What they are making is no longer just food. It is the earth and the sky and the sea. A dish with foraged ingredients immediately gains a patina of virtue regardless of how it tastes, simply because of how the ingredients were obtained.