“We will spend about two hours walking and foraging either in woodlands or on the coast as I particularly like the ingredients typically found in these locations”, says Paul Wedgwood, chef patron of Edinburgh’s Wedgwood the Restaurant. “I try to vary the location so that it doesn't get over foraged. What we pick changes all year and even week to week. Some of the things we might find are sweet cicely, samphire, sea aster and sorrel”.
Wedgwood has just released the dates for his annual East Lothian foraging tours, which will take place in spring, on the Sundays of April 10 and 24, tickets £125pp.
Transport to their yet-to-be-disclosed destination from the Canongate restaurant is included in the price, or you can take your own car and meet the group there, with both sessions running from 9.45am until 4pm.
“I usually make the decision of where to go on the same day, as a good foraging experience is really determined by the weather and the tide times”, says Wedgwood.
After a couple of hours of hunting for edible plants, the day will conclude back in the warmth of the restaurant, where the chef will cook up a seven-course tasting menu lunch. It will be dependent on what you’ve discovered in the wilderness, but their last menu featured dishes including homemade ricotta, Jack by the hedge, pea, radish, hazelnut and tomato water, as well as lamb loin, gnocchi, goat's curd and sea herbs and halibut, crushed potatoes, mushrooms, woodruff and sea sandwort.
Wedgwood is excited to see who will be taking part in this year’s sessions, as they always attract a broad demographic.
“We get a real range of people coming out to forage, from professional botanists to school teachers looking to expand their knowledge of wild food and whole families”, he says. “It is really something that can be enjoyed by all ages as it’s just about getting out and about in nature and connecting with food that grows in the wild. We keep the groups small so it stays a bespoke experience."