Organic, fresh, local, seasonal - the latest buzzwords in the food world. But these ideals are not always easy to achieve at every meal. Farmer's markets are good resources, growing your own garden can be fun, eating at farm-to-table restaurants like The Standard, East Village's Narcissa is a delicious choice but we recently learned that the easiest way to get the best produce is to just wander out into nature and pick it your damn self.
Let's backtrack a little bit. A couple of months ago at The Standard, Hollywood's Eat Your Words, a monthly storytelling event, Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, a nature survivalist and a chef, told us about how they met and fell in love and then combined their two passions into a career cooking and foraging for edible plants in the wilds of Los Angeles. Their story was lovely, but the best part of their talk was the snacks they brought us to try: foraged rosemary sage popcorn, sea salt taken right out of the Pacific, and a flour they made out of tree bark.
Popcorn flavored with foraged rosemary and sage. Delicious!
And that's how we found ourselves up early on a Saturday morning trekking around the hills north of LA shoving wildflowers in our mouths. On our walk we tasted all kinds of wild mustards, radishes, wild currants, black walnuts, native fennel, watercress, and cacti. Most weekends, Pascal teaches classes on foraging and preserving food (see the class schedule here). He and Mia also teach cooking classes and host dinners that are made up of almost all foraged ingredients (schedule available here). And that's the magic of Eat Your Words, one minute you're laughing at some comedian's story about ordering room service at a hotel and the next weekend you find yourself in the woods picking berries off a tree.
Foraged ingredients prepped and ready for cooking, learn more here. Photo by Mia Wasilevich
Held the first Thursday of every month at The Standard, Hollywood, Eat Your Words is hosted by comedian Greg Walloch and features a rotating cast of Los Angeles’ most outstanding storytellers and comedians with special guest appearances by LA area chefs, bartenders and urban foodies.