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Chicken of the Woods

Wild mushrooms have a special place in my heart. My wild food and foraging journey
stemmed from an interest in them before branching out into plants and seaweeds. The 'silent hunt', as Antonio Carluccio so beautifully and aptly put it, is one of my favourite things. To find yourself at ease, wandering and treading gently, on the fringes of or deep within and beneath, the multi-layered, multi-coloured patchwork of woodland canopies, or in ancient meadows, in anticipation of the sometimes elusive, yet always magical and mysterious organisms that comprise the 5th kingdom is a pure delight.

Fungi are truly fascinating, yet the great majority of the uk population have yet to discover just how awesome, intriguing, fascinating and tasty they can be. Most people think the best time of year for finding wild mushrooms is in the 'autumn' and, although there is some truth in this, it's not the whole truth. Spring, summer and winter can prove very fruitful (fung-ful) when it c…
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Sea Kale

If you are lucky and live close to the sea, especially in striking distance of a shingle beach, then you may just find Sea Kale...
As far as coastal edibles go, Sea Kale rocks: it's a true foragers delight!

Throughout the winter you will detect very little in the way of signs indicating if Sea Kale is present: it's sleeping, snugly beneath the shingle awaiting Spring...

The first signs of life generally begin in very late winter, if mild enough, or very early spring. Tiny leaf shoots, wake from their wintry slumber and start to force their way up through the shingle. As the season progresses, more and more shoots appear. Leaves, whether new or mature, come in an assortment of mixed and magnificent colours (see image top right): greens, purples, reds, greys and lilacs. They are crinkly edged and become more open and round edged with age.

Eventually, the flowering shoots appear on thick, tender, circular stalks and look remarkably similar to purple sprouting broccoli. In due tim…

Common Sorrel

Wow! What a wonderful, flavour packed herb Common Sorrel is!
For such a delicious plant it really doesn't get the attention it so rightly deserves.
Aside from it's superb taste profile, it's such an easy plant to identify, is relatively abundant and is very versatile in the kitchen, forming the base of many an amazing dish.



Identification and Habitat:
Common Sorrel has a preference for grassy areas; meadows, waste ground, fields and gardens.
Each plant produces numerous leaves and can be treated like a cut and come again lettuce (it will continuously produce leaves after harvesting). A particularly common feature can be located at the base of each leaf, instead of attaching to the leaf stem it has a distinctive split (see image). Leaves vary in size and some leaves are more 'rounded' than others. Early spring growth is often a light green colour and this gradually changes with age to a much darker green. Common sorrel isn't heavily veined and this is another impo…

4 Wild Seasons Winter Pop Up: Game For It. Saturday 29th February. Leeds

Hard to believe a full year has flown since hosting our last winter pop up - time flies! Spurred on by glowing feedback from diners at last years event, we can't wait to get back in the kitchens and tantalise your taste-buds once more. The following link will take you to a page I recently published, explaining more about 4 wild seasons and it's ethics:
https://edible-leeds.blogspot.com/p/4-wild-seasons-wild-food-dining.html

Game For It...

4 Wild Seasons are taking over the kitchens once again at
Seven Arts: http://www.sevenleeds.co.uk/ in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, to cook and serve you a menu that is local, seasonal, natural, wild & different.

Game For It, will be a 6 course, 2 canape and petit four, taste odyssey, featuring the harnessed yet untamed flavours of forest, hedgerow, mountain, coast & meadow, bringing you the very best in wild, seasonal, foraged and other flavours.

All foraged & non-foraged ingredients will be ethically sourced, lovingly fermented, cured,…

Independent Life Magazine: Leeds and York

I was approached by David Laycock, creative visionary and driving force behind Independent Life Magazine: Leeds and York in Spring 2017 and after several conversations and a meet up over coffee, I wrote my first article for them in July 2017: https://leeds.independentlife.co.uk/wild-gathering/

I've been contributing regularly as an independent food writer for their publications ever since then and hope to continue doing so.

My latest offering explores the theme 'What The World Needs Now' in relation to current global food systems, the issues with them and offers beneficial, logical and sensible alternatives to those damaging practices and of course wild and feral foods as part of those new, innovative, biodiversity beneficial, integrated global food systems. I hope you enjoy reading it: https://issuu.com/independentlife/docs/il_mag_vol17_june_3

Links to my other articles for Seasonal Eats:
https://leeds.independentlife.co.uk/seasons-eatings/
https://leeds.independentlife.co…
'What The World Needs Now' with regards to, environmental sustainability, was the topic for the most recent publication of Independent Life Magazine (formerly, Independent Leeds), published in June.

My article is on page 10: https://issuu.com/independentlife/docs/il_mag_vol17_june_3

In the article I explore and discuss the potential use of wild, feral and foraged foods to be part of new innovative, global food production systems.

We currently waste approx 40% - 50% of what food we grow in the UK alone. Wild food sources are neglected massively, with, I estimate, as much as 90% of what grows wild and feral being left to rot, what a tremendous waste, of very viable, nutritious and free food!

Restoring Vital Connection with wild foods and the land has never been so important.

I hope you enjoy reading the article.