Finders Keepers: René Redzepi and fellow chefs forage on Hampstead Heath

If you look, you'll find...
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Ben Greeno, René Redzepi and Valentine Warner discussing the ingredients to be found on the heath

1 / 18 Ben Greeno, René Redzepi and Valentine Warner discussing the ingredients to be found on the heath

2 / 18

Miles Irving and René Redzepi discuss ingredients found on the edge of Hampstead Heath

3 / 18 Miles Irving and René Redzepi discuss ingredients found on the edge of Hampstead Heath

René Redzepi takes a closer look at sorrel growing wild

4 / 18 René Redzepi takes a closer look at sorrel growing wild

Japanese knot weed

5 / 18 Japanese knot weed

Sorrel

6 / 18 Sorrel

The chef and foraging group gathers on the Hampstead Heath

7 / 18 The chef and foraging group gathers on the Hampstead Heath

Yarrow and Horseradish growing in the heath fields

8 / 18 Yarrow and Horseradish growing in the heath fields

Yarrow growing in the open fields of the heath

9 / 18 Yarrow growing in the open fields of the heath

Miles Irving talks about cow parsley

10 / 18 Miles Irving talks about cow parsley

René Redzepi takes a closer look at the cow parsley

11 / 18 René Redzepi takes a closer look at the cow parsley

René Redzepi testing cow parsley for flavour

12 / 18 René Redzepi testing cow parsley for flavour

Cow parsley growing wild on the heath

13 / 18 Cow parsley growing wild on the heath

René Redzepi explores Hampstead Heath

14 / 18 René Redzepi explores Hampstead Heath

Looking back into the woods from the top of the heath

15 / 18 Looking back into the woods from the top of the heath

Miles Irving introduces the group to bull rush

16 / 18 Miles Irving introduces the group to bull rush

Wild garlic growing on the forest floor

17 / 18 Wild garlic growing on the forest floor

View from the heath over the centre of London

18 / 18 View from the heath over the centre of London


It was a crisp autumn blue-sky day when René Redzepi – in London for the last leg of his world book tour for Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine – went foraging on Hampstead Heath with fellow chefs and forager Miles Irving, author of The Forager Handbook. Turns out it’s amazing what culinary goodies you can find in places you might not think to look.

Chefs clad in wellies met at The Wells Tavern, on Well Walk in Hampstead, before being led by Irving on a three hour walk across the Heath. Finds included wild garlic and sheep’s sorrel, while René Redzepi’s personal favourite were the wild serviceberries which he’d never seen or tasted before (and which, apparently, had a sort of tamarind flavour). Irving led the way - and the explanations in describing what the products were used for, together with interesting historical anecdotes.

Aside from the section of the party that got separated and lost circling Parliament Hill, the day passed without a hitch, and the group was re-united in time for a rewarding lunch at the Bull & Last with a menu put together in the spirit of using wild ingredients. A reason, if ever one were needed, to go forth and forage.


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