Wild foods are increasingly popular; chefs are incorporating wild ingredients into their restaurant meals, and foraging guides are proliferating. Author Pascal Baudar, however, not only encourages adventurous eaters to get creative with their own local landscapes, but also digs deep into innovative techniques for food preservation and what he dubs “culinary alchemy.”
Baudar will present “Wildcrafted and Wonderful: Culinary Creations with Wild Foods” at Sterling College on Wednesday, June 1, at 7:00 p.m. at Common House on the College’s campus. The talk is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A and a book signing afterwards.
Baudar says, “It’s only in our current ‘modern’ times that foraging is seen as a novelty or a ‘trendy’ thing to do. It’s really part of being human: we are surrounded by countless edible plants and flavors. People are hesitant to harvest them because they’ve lost that connection to nature and also the knowledge of elders hasn’t been passed on.”
Baudar is an instructor for the School of the New American Farmstead course “Foraging and Wildcrafting.” He is a professional forager, wild food instructor, and a self-styled “culinary alchemist” based in Los Angeles. He is the author of The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir (Chelsea Green Publishing). Pascal’s locally sourced wild ingredients and unique preserves have made their way into the kitchens of star chefs. Over the years, through his weekly classes and seminars, he has introduced thousands of home cooks, local chefs, and others to the flavors offered by the wild terroir of southern California. He has served as a wild food consultant for several TV shows including MasterChef and Top Chef Duels. He has been featured in numerous TV shows and publications, including Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, and the New York Times. In 2014, he was named one of the 25 most influential tastemakers in L.A. by Los Angeles magazine.
The vibrant working landscape of Vermont has been the inspiration for Sterling College’s curriculum for a half century. Sterling’s sustainable agriculture and land management programs were among the first in the nation. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College connects the College’s mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today’s artisan food movement.
The School of the New American Farmstead programming is generously supported by Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. Chelsea Green, an independent publishing company, works with authors who bring in-depth, practical knowledge to life. Their titles provide readers with accessible and implementable knowledge about subjects at the heart of the Sterling College curriculum: organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, green building, sustainable business and economics, among others. Many of the School of the New American Farmstead’s esteemed instructors are authors of widely read Chelsea Green titles.