Join Chef Jeremy Umansky as he shows off his foraging skills, finding his menu items in the middle of nature.
When it comes to creating new creations in the kitchen, Chef Jeremy Umansky doesn’t just rely on what he finds offered on the shelves of a store or by local providers. He heads out into nature to find inspiration and new flavors by engaging in one of the oldest methods of finding food: foraging.
Umansky, who works with the James Beard award-nominated Larder Delicatessen (1455 W. 29th St.) in Cleveland, showed us a sampling of what is possible to find when searching the forest floor for foodstuffs. Years of experience point him to edible foods like Trout Lily, Garlic Mustard and Ramps, as well as a knowledge of which mushrooms and berries are edible.
It’s important to note, as he points out, to not take any more food than necessary when foraging yourself. You don’t want to deplete nature of it’s ability to replenish itself, and as Umansky puts it, “trees can’t defend themselves”. Also, if you go out to forage be sure to have permission, and know local laws about where and what you can take home. (For example, most national and local park systems have strict rules against foraging.)
Foraging is a great reminder that our food doesn’t just “magically” appear in our grocery stores, and that what we have in easy to find quantities shouldn’t be taken for granted. The next time you take a hike in the great outdoors, pay attention to what’s growing at your feet – you never know what you’ll find.
VIDEO BY: Joey Artino