Over the last couple of summers, since I moved to Dumfries and Galloway, I have been building my knowledge of the local foraging. I have been collecting a range of sweet, savoury and sometimes unusual ingredients.
Working with Mark Williams from Galloway Wild Foods, I have slowly increased my knowledge base and confidence with foraging around the Solway Coast.
The summer months bring more of a coastal flavour with samphire, sea purslane, dulse and other assorted seaweeds. These allow me to add elements to dishes you may not have tried before and bring a real hit of the coast to various fish dishes. The seaweeds are of particular interest. I hope to use it to bring an oriental twist to certain dishes. The famed Japanese stock dashi can be re-created without expensive imports in both cost and food miles.
Start of Mushroom Season
From now, heading towards mid-summer the first chanterelles begin to appear. Known as summer gold they are easy to identify and bring not only a big flavour but also a stunning colour to dishes.
Working with Mark I have been expanding my knowledge of the mycelial world and although there are many that I would personally eat and experiment with, only the tastiest and most easily identifiable will make it onto the menu. I like stretching peoples palette and knowledge, but I understand there are limits. If you enjoy the small touches on the dishes, please speak to me in the kitchen. I am always willing to share my knowledge and if you are interested. I may even have some other tastes available to push your pallet slightly further!
Chef Ed Pook