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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.
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.
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.
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Serving Weeds at NYC's High End Restaurants

324 Folder Collection
Jessieeee published on July 17, 2019    April Lu translated    Evangeline reviewed
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