17 August 2018
That’s the top line when it comes to foraging, it’s free. Moreover, it’s like a nature-based bootie hunt where you seek out the wild food whether you are at home, walking along a river path, in rolling hills, on the coast or on holiday. What could be better? Fresh air, free food and an opportunity to use your imagination to create something delicious from your food bounty.
We recently had a chat to plant-based chef and foraging enthusiast Anton Petrov who wants to inspire a positive change through Cooking Green. Here’s what he said…
Q - Why forage?
It’s deeply satisfying to be able to collect your own food in the wild. Food is not just the nutrients – it is a story. Foraging is what gives that story a deeper, more fulfilling sense.
Q – What are the popular ingredients you forage?
Mushrooms, herbs, nuts, wild berries, greens. You name it.
Q - What are the dangers?
Toxic or even poisonous plants – they can be both fruits, greens, mushrooms. So, you really need to be 100% sure about what you pick. If not sure, just leave it.
Q - Would you recommend a foraging course?
Absolutely. Unless, you have some basic experience, learning from an expert is a safe way to bypass some tricky moments.
Q - Are there any rules?
The most important rule is the one I mentioned above. If you are a beginner, it’s essential you learn some basics from a local forager expert. You can self-educate by researching your area with a very good field guide such as this or attend a course.
Q - What’s your favourite foraging recipe?
Q - Are there any benefits? E.g. outdoors, community, flavours…?
For me it’s everything. I feel that modern city life disconnects us from our roots. We all came from nature. We are part of it. Learning about the environment you live in, connecting to your roots and where your food comes from makes you more mindful of the beauty that is around you. It’s utterly nourishing practice in so many ways.
Q - What are your 3 top tips to get you started?
Get good footwear. Get few good field guides – River Cottage series best source at this stage. And start roaming. The more area you can cover the more you will learn. Be mindful of seasonal availability, as there is a season for every single plant out there.
Anton Petrov runs his own business offering private dinner parties, master classes and foraging walks. Anton truly believes in plant based cooking to reconnect us with nature. He adds “Nature truly gives us all the opportunity to be healthy and happy, no matter our social status or wealth. Hence, preserving the natural world and promoting a sustainable lifestyle is the basis of all my projects.”
Anton’s food can also be enjoyed at W6 Garden Centre & Cafe where he is the Chef at the W6 Café that serves organic healthy food in a beautiful plant inspired setting.