Rediscovering wild, edible plants didn’t start with us in Islay, of course. The slow food movement of Carlo Petrini, the re-definition of haute-cuisine led by Rene Redzepi in Scandinavia, the idea of looking backwards for wisdom that had been lost – these were all influences.
We found, as we foraged ourselves on Islay, that there was a new generation of people all around the world, and online, who were doing likewise. It was, and still is, an open-source sort of culture; freely available wild foods and freely exchanged knowledge. Now it’s becoming more mainstream but it’s no less exciting, because there is so much to learn.
Early on, in 2014, we made some important friends who were on their own independent journeys of discovery – Mark Williams, a foraging tutor based in the lowlands whose website is an encyclopedic resource. Craig Grozier, a classically trained chef who has worked around the world but has a deep connection with native Scottish ingredients. They have since introduced us to their friends and we’ve reached out to other writers and pioneers, such as Pascal Baudar of the Wildcrafted Cuisine book series in LA, or Roushanna Gray of Veld and Sea in the Cape of Good Hope. We’ve been hosting annual summits on Islay where these creative minds can meet since 2015, and have been able to start shining a light on the movement through our Wild – A State of Mind series of short films.