This ‘walk and talk’ workshop will teach you how to identify the best of the British seasons and hopes to inspire you to get out into your hedgerows, safely and confidently to make the most of what you find into fantastic wild flavours to use throughout the year.
You will be taken out on a short circular walk from Cowdray Hall, (weather depending) to talk about the wild ingredients we have all around us. After picking a range of fruits and forage, George will then demonstrate a range of preserving techniques to capture the incredible flavours of these wild edibles to make perfect christmas conserves and store cupboard favorites.
Meet George, Cowdray’s Forager:
George has been foraging and using wild foods for some years, supplying the freshest foraged wild edibles to some of the country’s top restaurants, chefs and food establishments.
After years of being immersed in the ‘wild’ himself, George decided to focus on encouraging others to appreciate the significance of our native countryside, and how we can enjoy and protect it for future generations.
He now works with landowners to help quantify the wildfoods within their landscape so they can realise the full potential of this biodiversity, add value and realise a better equilibrium for land and owner. He also conducts engaging walks, guiding people through different habitats and explaining the myriad of uses and diversity of flavour we have all around us.
Over his years of foraging George has accrued an in-depth knowledge of our countryside, its diverse habitats and the variety of plants and fungi each contains. He has covered the length and breadth of the country from the Scottish Highlands to the moors and coasts of Cornwall, in search of new native edibles as well as sustainable sources to pick them. As the Head Forager at Bello Wild Food, George has worked closely with chefs consulting on what, when and how to use each ingredient to best showcase them. This unique relationship between chef and forager has led George to be featured on programmes like BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, following the journey from forest to fork.
Example event itinerary:
1.5hour circular walk beginning at Cowdray Hall
A short talk on preserving, the benefits of wild preserves, touching on wild spices and how to use them.
- History wild preserves
- Benefits of preservation
- Types preservation (syrups, jams, conserves, ketchups, sauces)
- Balancing flavours in your preserves
- Using wild ingredients (herbs, spices, fruits, fungi and roots)
- Building a wild larder of your own
Tasting of range of preserves (wild ketchup, conserves and syrups)
Blackberry, elderberry and apple conserve demonstration
- Picking and processing your wild fruits
- Cooking the blackberry, elderberry and apple
- Possible aromatics and flavours to add
- Cooling and consistency
- Jarring for future use
Pontac sauce demonstration
- Processing elderberries (cooking off glycocides)
- Combining and cooking shallots, spices and elderberry juice.
- Sieve spices
- reheat, cool and enjoy
Douglas fir syrup demonstration
- Extracting flavour from fir needles
- Making a syrup from extraction
- Uses of this unique flavour profile
Tasting: Rose hip syrup, elderberry syrup, douglas fir syrup
Please wear suitable footwear and outdoor clothing to ensure you are equipped for the foraging walk.
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