Forest to Fork
Experience a forest walk like no other. A tasting journey through the forest ending in delightful culinary creations made with your own foraged plants, tree foliage or roots. Sample the flavors of times past, as you gather and learn about the wild plants surrounding you. Listen to the sounds of the forest, hear the stories of the plants and how they are connected, immerse yourself in the wilderness and the weeds .
On our second full day everyone will gather together in the Jack Millikin Centre to prepare a culinary creation under the guidance of Lyn Brown from Pickled Loon Kitchen. Harness the essence of your inner culinary artist to transform your foraged ingredients. Learn how to use tools from the past and the present, a mortar and pestle for grinding evergreen needles with sea salt, or a present day blender for churning out rose petal butter.
Tantalize your palate with the taste of familiar recipes enhanced with forest ingredients, recipes such as Juniper Berry Banana Bread or try something for the first time, Cattail Corn on the Cob with stinging nettle butter comes to mind. Your time will end knowing that you have had the opportunity to experience the beauty of life through the taste of the forest.
As part of your tasting experience you will take home a container of Rose Hip & Green Thai Chili Syrup and a box of recipe cards for other culinary creations made with foraged ingredients.
Experience the beauty of life through taste. As a Boreal Forest Culinary Artist my focus is to share not only a memorable foodie experience but also to share my love and understanding of the forest.
As a child growing up on the edge of the northern forest in Saskatchewan and now as an adult living amongst the forest on the edge of the precambrian shield, I have climbed the trees and rocks, swam in the lakes, breathed in the fresh unpolluted air, admired the forest for its visual beauty and respected its capacity to be home to all that lives under and in its grand forest ecosystem of firs, pines, spruce, poplar and birch trees.
Over time I have come to understand the great food resource that the forest has been in the past and is now today also in our present. Ingredients that can make stand alone teas such as the leaves of the Labrador Tea plant, or birch bark twigs for a tea with a subtle hint of wintergreen, but also ingredients which can perform in a similar fashion to the exotic spices and seasonings often used in our culinary repertoire. Juniper berries as an exotic spice can be mixed with sugar or burned to create a culinary ash, spruce needles which can be used to create a seasoning with sea salt for marinades, curing meats or simply as a flavored salt for day to day cooking, birch bark flour for cookies and breads, the many forest floor plants such as stinging nettle, chickweed, lamb’s quarters, plantain, sarsaparilla root, dandelions, and those on the water including cattails for a dish resembling corn on the cob, the taste opportunities are endless and extraordinary.
Let your journey intertwine with mine as we walk through the forest, learn and create our own personal culinary artistic experiments. We will experience the beauty of life through taste together.
Having grown up spending my days listening to the song of the forest, breathing the fresh air after a spring rain, feeling the silkiness of the bark of a young poplar, seeing the colours of the flowers and leaves as the seasons changed, I felt there were so many more versus yet to be written and secrets to learn if I remained curious and attentive the forest would share its bounty.
The forest has taught me that its many plants, trees and roots are a veritable cornucopia of ingredients waiting to be a part of some culinary creation crafted to tantalize and to nourish. Ingredients as simple as spruce tree needle and sea salt seasoning for everyday use, or as exquisite as a juniper berry ground and added to a white chocolate ganache with blueberry compote, from savoury to sweet and everything in between my forest song has become about sharing and experiencing the beauty of the forest through taste.