my dad was a big forager, even if we lived in the city: we went mushroom picking in the mountain forests but also in the green area around the public stadium nearby our house. the selection was not very varied but i kept a soft spot for wild strawberries and for getting my snacks from the source. my dad was also big on cooking and picking the best ingredients from plentiful romanian farmers’ markets. so, as my father’s daughter, i love this new wave of locavore gastronomy.
for instance, take rené redzepi, the young chef and owner of the best restaurant in the world: he vowed to go regional and seasonal and he is totally into wildculture: the resulting hybrid is new nordic cuisine infused with molecular gastronomy. imagine him foraging in the the fields near copenhagen for edible flowers or sourcing unusual sea foods or the purest water from greenland for his guests.
the lunch and evening menus in his two michelin star restaurant, noma, offer 7 courses for 200 euro. not that you can get a reservation… ever since noma topped the san pellegrino list in 2010, the phone just doesn’t stop ringing!
pretty impressive for a kid who failed in regular school and consequently enrolled in a local culinary school. and that was not the only obstacle he encountered in his journey: his forager’s approach was not considered good enough – people just didn’t see it becoming directional. but it did!
just like el bulli (where he used to work), he has a workshop where three chefs work full time in order to create new surprises: it’s a houseboat, 100 metres from the restaurant, in christianhavn, copenhagen.
rene is one of those improbable heroes: who would think that the food on one’s plate could be life changing? but his approach makes sense more than ever in a time when most of our food comes wrapped in plastic…
i hail this daring pioneer and i’ll let my cooking be inspired by his!
photo and video credits: google search