The First Islay Foragers Summit is due to take place on Islay later this month. Over the last few years we have begun to explore the flavours of our island home in ever greater depth; tasting the botanical life of this windswept Hebridean outpost that inspired the creation of The Botanist.
Along the way we are fortunate to have met like-minded individuals, people for whom the wild provides kitchen, grocery, larder – and sometimes a home.
We are interested in ALL local flavours, not just ours here on Islay , but yours everywhere – garden, seashore, park, city, wilderness, we love it all. Yours, like ours, are flavours that change with the winds and the moon; flavours that allow us all to reclaim the sense of time that prepackaged supermarket homogeneity and polytunnel mechanisation have stolen from us. Flavours that make up all our landscapes, however urban and controlled.
We are interested in people. People who share the excitement of anticipation as much as taste, waiting for the first blush of chanterelles, the anis scent of sweet cicely along a lane and the honeyed flowers of sea kale on the shore.
We are interested in place, in “out there”, in flux. And we are interested in tasting. And playing. And making.
In June this year we invited a group of foragers, herbalists, cookers and brewers, argonauts all, feral and unherdable, to spend a few days with us, tasting and playing with the flavours of Islay.
This is what we got up to.
Many thanks to you all.
Mark Williams, Galloway Wild Foods
Craig Grozier, Fallachan Dining
Monica Wilde, Wild Food, Wild Medicine, Wild Booze
Andy Hamilton, Author, Journalist, Broadcaster
John Rensten, Forage London
Andrew McFarlane, Acuvital Herbal Medicine, Foraging & Fermentation
Filmed by friend, sea dog and raconteur, Carney Turner of Crows Nest Films.
We are looking forward to further adventures with you.