Wild Kitchen Dinners Serve a Gourmet Introduction to Foraged Foods
If you have always wanted to pluck that mushroom in the forest or nibble wild herbs in the backyard but have been afraid to try (or too lazy to cook), ForageSF's Wild Kitchen dinners provide a safe, gourmet introduction to locally foraged foods. Founded by Iso Rabins, the creator of the Underground Market, the Wild Kitchen dinners are an "underground supper club" featuring an 8-course meal made from local, seasonal, foraged ingredients. The next series of Wild Kitchen dinners are on December 6, 7 and 8 in San Francisco (final location will be announced the week of the dinners). And as the rains are here, the next menu focuses on one of the greatest foraged foods: wild mushrooms.
While the December menu features dishes like Porcini and Chestnut soup and Wild Mushroom Stuffed Turducken, the entire meal is filled with food foraged from land and sea. From the ocean, the menu features popular local ingredients like Dungeness crab and smoked mackerel along with more exotic flavors like pickled bull kelp. From land, the menu features foraged herbs, lettuces and nettles, but also more hearty fare like wild boar rillettes. Rabins and his team forage many of the foods themselves, but they also source from trusted local purveyors. All of the courses have matching wines and vegetarian options are available.
For those who want to forage for themselves, ForageSF features a full slate of foraging classes from the Wild Food Walks that Rabin's describes as "foraging 101" all the way to guided Wild Mushroom Walks. The mushroom walks are guided by Kevin Feinstein (Feral Kevin), a published local mushroom forager, and give an introduction to mushroom ecology and identification. As Rabin's says, "it is so much better to really show people how to identify mushrooms and not just rely on books." ForageSF also provides advanced food walks and private, custom classes for individuals and groups.
And if you want to cook or keep all the goodies you find in the forest (or anywhere else), ForageSF wants to help with that, too. ForageSF is working on a new venture, Forage Kitchen, a co-working space for local food makers. Forage Kitchen will be a commercial kitchen for artisan food makers, but also open to the public for rental use. So if you need to pickle a hundred pounds of bull kelp or can a few bushels of wild plums, Forage Kitchen may soon be an option. Rabins raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter for the Forage Kitchen project and hopes to raise more funds and open in the next year.
December Wild Kitchen Dinners are at 6:30 pm on December 6, 7 and 8. Tickets are $150 per person and are available for purchase here. Detailed menu information is available here. Foraging walk and class schedules, information and tickets are available on the ForageSF website.