Welcoming Wild Asparagus Season

asparagus1In an era when most urban Americans were suspicious of food that wasn’t boxed, bagged or canned, Euell Gibbons made a landmark case for plucking meals from the landscape. Stalking the Wild Asparagus, published in 1962, was the first major foraging manifesto.

But the title, pun value aside, is slightly misleading. It doesn’t take much stealth to gather wild asparagus. At this time of year, the skinny green plants are just as likely to come find you.

“It seems like they’re everywhere,” says chef Frank Lee, who last month put his backyard haul on the menu at Old Village Post House. It took Lee about 20 minutes to collect a half-pound of the seasonal delicacy. Continue reading

Tristan Chef Turns Young Son Into Professional Forest Forager

chef_nateAlthough he’s not credited on the menu, a two-year old had a hand in creating a dish which last night premiered at Tristan.

Alex, executive chef Nate Whiting’s son, helped gather the pine branches for pine-smoked dayboat sea scallops, served on a charred pine wood plank with celery root puree and smoked grapes.

“He’s very meticulous, like me and his mama,” Whiting says of his efforts to coax Alex into picking up more than one branch at a time. Continue reading