Picking wild plants is a way to connect to our early agricultural heritage. These wild plants are cousins to the common edible plants we find in supermarkets. This aids me when it comes to finding authenticity in flavour, delicious taste, texture and positive nutritional potential – I believe this is my expression of an alternative luxury in a menu. A walk down the street, into our local park, a cycle along the canal or over to Walthamstow marshes, there exists a wide variety of habitats where different plants and trees offer edible opportunities and an indication of the life cycle.
A couple of days before the pop-up began, I received a delivery from Bello wild foods. Chris the owner is a fountain of knowledge with all things wild and edible. This mystery box was his seasonal snapshot of the most incredible wild ingredients. Contained within were stems, leaves, seeds and flowers from inland and from the seashore. Each offering a range of colours, flavours, textures & aromatics. I nibbled and smelled my way through the box with a smile, knowing it would elevate my menu.
Another inspiration was pioneering farmer Calixta from Flourish produce. She grows ingredients with minimum intervention, yielding plants with maximum flavour and nutrition. She arrived with mustard leaves bursting with flavour, sweet edible tulips, an edible red bush blossom and a wonderful asian brassica called Fun Jun which was sweet, delicate & floral. This brought me straight back to Asia.