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  • People may look down on these things like a dandelion flower or cattails.

  • They're like, "This is just some common weed."

  • "How can this be used by Michelin star restaurants?"

  • And I think that's what's changing.

  • People wanna go back to things that are sort of raw.

  • [From Weed to Table - A Great Big Story Made Possible by Toyota RAV4.]

  • [Flemington, New Jersey.]

  • My name is Tama Matsuoka Wong, and I'm a forager.

  • When I first hear the word forager, I didn't really know what it meant.

  • But then I found out that it's sort of like doing a dance with nature and finding the secret foods in the wild.

  • Most of the restaurants I work with are Michelin star restaurants, such as Gramercy Tavern, restaurant Daniel, Cosme, and a number of others.

  • I came from a different background.

  • I didn't study horticulture.

  • I didn't study botany.

  • I went to Harvard Law School, and I practiced a career for decades in investment banking.

  • I always liked nature; I always liked food.

  • I was a failed gardener, so I was trying to find good recipes for my weeds that I found out were good to eat.

  • So, people just started asking me for this.

  • I started getting more and more involved.

  • It was super creative, impactful, and it just took me.

  • Most of the stuff that I get is from around my house but you, you could find common weeds anywhere.

  • Probably I deal with between four and 500 different plants a year.

  • Some of my favorite ingredients are sumac, wild brassica, I like wild shiso, and cattail shoots.

  • People don't realize that all the stuff around them is good food.

  • In two meters of ground, you could have 50 different plants.

  • Fifty, and that's nature.

  • It can be something amazing that you can enjoy, and you don't even have to go too far to get it.

  • When I first started bringing my weeds to very elevated restaurants...

  • Oh, wow, that's beautiful.

  • I didn't know you're supposed to call chefs Chefs because I'm just a forager.

  • So the cattail: we are going to pickle them with cucumber and some chili flakes.

  • Well, the thing I love is that the chefs just see the huge beauty in every of these plants.

  • They love them like they're little jewels.

  • And I don't feel like it's my product; I feel like it's nature's product and that they respect the plant.

  • So, it's a huge bond.

  • It's not about the chef or me.

  • It's about the plant.

People may look down on these things like a dandelion flower or cattails.

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B1 INT US GreatBigStory nature michelin wild weed plant

Serving Weeds at NYC's High End Restaurants

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    Jessieeee   posted on 2020/08/28
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