THE CHEF’S VIEW

KRIS­TIAN BAUMANN OF 108, COPEN­HAGEN

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - COVER STORY -

For­ag­ing is about un­der­stand­ing what na­ture has to of­fer – from the first greens of spring to the last berries or mush­rooms of au­tumn. It con­nects you to the land­scape and, on a per­sonal level, it helps me be­come more open-minded in the way I cook.

It is so suited to Scan­di­navia be­cause his­tor­i­cally our harsh cli­mate forced our an­ces­tors into new ways of find­ing and pre­serv­ing flavours.

For­ag­ing is one of the pil­lars of our restau­rant, 108. It of­fers flavours we couldn’t have cre­ated our­selves. It is a great way of show­ing our chefs, our­selves, and our din­ers, the amaz­ing breadth of op­tions na­ture puts for­ward and how you can use it as an in­spi­ra­tion for cook­ing – not only in a restau­rant, but also at home.

Take, for in­stance, the rose hip berry, which grows ev­ery­where in the Dan­ish sum­mer. It’s usu­ally ig­nored for be­ing a weed, but ac­tu­ally it has ver­sa­til­ity in the kitchen. At our restau­rant, we serve the flow­ers, ei­ther dried or pre­served in n vine­gar, the he seeds we toast and turn into a nutty sesame­flavoured oil, the ac­tual berry we purée and, in the past, we’vew used it in oneon of our desserts.dessert We usedu it in a dessert with sea buck­thorn,buckth an­oth­er­ano wild fruit­fru that has be­comebe pop­u­larpo again.ag I’mI’ of­ten in­spiredinsp by the in­gre­di­ents­in­gre I find grow­inggr to­gether or­gan­i­cally. When I visit my par­ents, I buy pota­toes at a farm close to their house – there you might also find camomile, wild sor­rel, and thyme grow­ing all around the potato crop. I try to pick some of each and then, later that night, I’ll cook the pota­toes with the herbs.

You can for­age all around you – not just in ru­ral ar­eas – but also along beaches, through forests, or even in cities.

When you for­age be open-minded, be e cu­ri­ous, but also do your re­search.

There is now a great amount of in­for­ma­tion out there on wild plants and for­ag­ing.

You don’t have to make the same mis­takes pi­o­neer­ing for­agers and chefs did 15 years ago. So be clever and use the knowl­edge banks out there, like the Vild Mad (wild food in Dan­ish) app (vild­mad.dk/en). It’s easy to read up and see what’swh around you,yo and what dif­fer­ent­d­iff plantspla it can be used for – it could change not only the way you cook, but also the way you un­der­stand na­ture.

Kris­tian Baumann is a Korean-born Dane, the head chef and coowner of Restau­rant 108 in Copen­hagen’s Chris­tian­shavn dis­trict. He spent his early ca­reer at restau­rant Noma, later help­ing to set up Relæ, be­fore be­com­ing head chef of 1.th. In July 2016 he opened Restau­rant 108 with Noma’s René Redzepi. The restau­rant was awarded one Miche­lin star in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

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