A few weeks ago I prepared a 7-course wild food meal for Hawaii’s Center for Food Safety, with the help of some awesome new foraging friends. Chef Rob Ramshur had contacted me several times about learning wild edibles on Maui, but I had been in such a constant flurry of activity that our paths hadn’t connected. He reached out again and it just so happened I had agreed to do the private dinner and was in need of some help. Perfect. We had a blast foraging for two days and preparing a true feast.
Guests filtered in and were served wild root beer. The meal began, as a flowering of tastes and color with 6 kinds of tempurah’d wild edible flowers that were served with an elderflower gastrique. Wild Miso followed, which was served with wild plantain greens on the side. There was a Foraged Salad, that contained many wild greens and a wild pine-infused vinaigrette. The salad was sprayed with some Hawaiian Sandalwood hydrosol that I distilled. Next up, The Savage Manapua. This one was a real crowd pleaser, and palette’s were given a quick rest with some wild allspice tea. The main dish of the evening was venison that had been cooked with a feral guava sauce, served with some local oyster mushrooms and wild Jamaican vervain flowers (that taste like mushrooms), on a bed of cassava puree. A hush fell over the crowd, with looks of surprise and then squeals of delight, as the taste explosion of wild green fennel seed ice cream and kiawe crumble was the final culmination of this wild food extravaganza.