Wild in the Kitchen: a blog by forager Will Newitt

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th April 2014
This is one of a series of bi-monthly blogs by Dorset-based forager, Will Newitt, owner of Down to Earth Bushcraft. Spring is bursting from the earth and for the wild foodie this means one thing - fresh, succulent greens. One of my favourites is the very common ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria). Gardeners everywhere spend vast amounts of time trying to eradicate this resilient 'weed' so they're often happily surprised to hear it's a very tasty vegetable, indeed it was probably introduced into this country by the Romans for its edible delights and somewhere along the way fell into culinary obscurity. When it comes to flavour, think parsley with the boxing gloves off. Right now it's young and tender and makes a wonderful salad green but, as it gets older, it becomes tougher. It'll still work well in cooked dishes but, when the flowers come out towards the end of May, the taste goes from fresh and zingy to rather bitter. Triple winner of the 'Best restaurant in the world’ award, Noma in Copenhagen, regularly features ground elder on its Scandinavian Forage menu. While Gary Goldie, awarded 2011 Scottish chef of the year (mainly for his innovative use of foraged food and local produce), serves it alongside fried Lagganbuie duck egg. As many a gardener will testify, it's a stubborn plant and can be semi-cultivated simply by cutting back and waiting for the fresh growth to spring up again. In addition to gardens you can also find ground elder along woodland edges, under hedgerows and in old churchyards; one of its colloquial names is 'Bishop’s weed'.           Will is a wild food obsessive. He is based in Dorset, where he runs a fledgling bushcraft business, specialising in introducing people to the edible pleasures of woodland and hedgerow. More info can be found at www.downtoearthbushcraft.com

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th April 2014

Wild in the Kitchen: a blog by forager Will Newitt