Gregory Gourdet, chef de cuisine,
Departure Restaurant + Lounge,
Portland, Ore., learned about
foraging by going to the coast and
harvesting fresh seaweed, sea beans,
sea peas and sea asparagus. After two
years, he still goes with a guide, who
helps him find nonpoisonous items,
explains the taste, and suggests ways
to cook and menu the items. With
that background, Gourdet headed
into the surrounding woods at
the coast and found coastal herbs,
flowers, berries and mushrooms.
He tends to forage for special dinner
events instead of for the daily menu.
The restaurant once hosted a paleo
dinner in keeping with the paleo
diet, which is based on the premise
of hunting and gathering. The dinner
featured such foraged ingredients as
seaweed, wild honey, wild greens,
root vegetables and various herbs.
“Dishes that include foraged items
have more perceived value,” he says.
above left: Keep a field guide
with you when foraging, such
as Foraged Flavor (Clarkson
Potter Publishers, 2012).
above right: Wild sea beans
Courtesy of Foods in Season
4 Get permission. Don’t sneak around and harvest from private
land. Asking for permission is a
matter of courtesy.
5 Let someone know where you are. Accidents can happen. If you
plan to be in a remote area alone,
let someone know the location
and when you expect to return.
Also, bring a compass and a cell
phone. For safety, it’s best to
forage with a friend.
6 Be aware of hunting seasons. Always wear bright colors
(orange) no matter the time of
year, but be aware of specific
hunting seasons in your part of
7 Learn which parts of a wild edible plant are safe to eat. Some
plants are only edible at certain
times of the year. For example,
stinging nettle shouldn't be used
after it goes to seed.