With the “New Nordic Cuisine” of celebrity chefs René Redzepi (Noma and Nordic Food Lab) and Magnus Nilsson (Fäviken) as touchstones, ancient foraging and fermentation practices are offering a blueprint for a future beyond the farmers’ market. From Central in Lima, Peru to Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington, experimental chefs situated on the Pacific Ocean are taking up this blueprint—blending the products of Mediterranean agriculture with their own forays into marine and forest ecosystems to gather, catalog, study, and cook in new ways with undomesticated edible species. Given both the vulnerability of those ecosystems to climate change and the long indigenous histories of wild foods in the Americas, the investment in wild foods at such globally renowned restaurants raises thorny questions about the sustainability of the cuisine they are modeling.

Published on KCET (2018)