wild kitchen

Welcome Chef Ty Taube

What strikes you most, when speaking with Ty Taube, is his love of simple, unadorned  ingredients. Last week he caught a live octopus, and proceeded to steam and slice it onto a puckery sunomono salad spiked with local winter citrus and pickled seaweed - also wild. This is what Ty eats at home.

A Michelin star chef from The Restaurant at Applewood in Sonoma, Ty has plated everything from miso cured black cod to whipped ricotta raviolo topped with a raw duck egg. He's equally at home introducing 9-course tasting menus to appreciative guests, as he is roasting a whole pig for friends and family on the 4th of July. He'll tell you about the black trumpet mushrooms he just found on one of his frequent foraging trips, and how he dredges them lightly in cornstarch before frying them in oil until they're puffed. 

But Ty is most at home during harvest every Tuesday, when he surveys his Santa Rosa farm for shiny purple eggplant, sprouting lettuces, bok choy, and a veritable parade of other greens. He places equal assortments of these small-crop veggies into CSA boxes for a lucky list of patrons, and onto your plates. You see, not only does Ty work magic with ingredients in the pan, he's also nursed those ingredients from seed to bloom.

We're extremely excited to welcome Ty to the forageSF family. A farmer, second-generation mushroom forager, kayaking fisherman, and California native - Ty couldn't be a more perfect fit if we had conjured him ourselves. Taste his farm-to-table cuisine at one of our Wild Kitchen roving dinners, learn how he prepares local ling cod in a hands-on cooking class, or better yet - let us bring him into your home or company event for a truly seasonal meal you'll never forget. 

Ready to meet Ty? Tell us about your next event - we'd love to get started with you!

wild kitchen

A Wild Kitchen Fishing Trip

This past weekend we did something a bit different for The Wild Kitchen. We usually collect all the food, cook it up, and tell diners about how we did it. This time we got some eaters in on the adventure, with a fishing trip in Half Moon Bay. With guest chef Hank Shaw, we took 21 folks down to half moon bay for a day of fishing on a boat called the Huli Cat. Was a good day. Ocean fishing is something I don't actually have that much experience with, but with Hank on board (a seasoned fisherman), we got along fine. We caught over 200 fish, most of which we cooked up for the next days Wild Kitchen. It was mostly a rock cod day (we made a rock cod bisque as well as as oil poached cod with corn and heirlooms), but we did hit a school of mackeral (which we filleted and pickled for some Saba), and a lucky few caught ling cod (I was one of the lucky ones, with a 12 lb ling cod). Overall it was a good and exhausting day, followed by several hours cleaning the fish we caught (not the best plan after waking up at 4:30am and fishing all day).  The dinners went great, and it was fun to have a guest chef in the mix to change things up a bit. Check out the pics below, and hope to see you all at the next Wild Kitchen.

Thanks

Iso[gallery]

photos by Andria Lo and Ramin Rahimian

thoughts

Menus and Offices

Big day today. I just signed a lease on my first office.  Never thought I'd be so excited to have one, but there is something to be said for moving out of cafes, and into a space that is yours. Things tend to get lost when you dont have a central place.  Also signing the lease on my apartment in the Haight tonight! Spending most of the rest of the day planning my menu for the next wild kitchen in April.  Just looked at the weather, and its supposed to be a nice month, but it will also have cold nights (as always in SF), so Im going for a mix of hearty warming dishes, and light spring fare. Iso

wild kitchen

Valentines dinners and 3000 gnocchi

Just woke up for the second day of our 3 day Valentine’s day dinner marathon. Total this weekend we are going to feed 440 people! By far the most I’ve ever fed.  Friday night went really well.  Had a bit of a hiccup in the beginning (forgot the wine glasses, so had to drive down to Daly city with ten minutes until the dinner started, pay $50 for someone to open the rental warehouse, then somehow fit 6 crates of glasses into a Corolla that already had 600 oysters…), but it worked! The rest of the night went very smooth. This was the first time we had ever done 2 seatings, so there was a bit more pressure to get the food out fast, while still not making it a rushed meal. The favorite of the night was the wild boar ragu, people were basically licking the bowls.

Off to prep now, mostly a big day of opening oysters and rolling gnocchi (more than 3000 over the whole weekend). Maybe I’ll see you tonight.

Iso

Recipes, wild kitchen

Fish Soup and Climbing Cezanne's Mountain

My girlfriend Valerie and I just got back from a month long trip to Europe – a land of delicious cheese and keyboards that make typing an inconceivable chore (I mean really, who would design a keyboard where you have to hit alt, command, shift, and 4 to get an @ symbol?).  But, despite their lack of tech design genius (or perhaps in spite of it), I had a great time.

  • Climbed Sainte-Victoire, the 3,000 ft. mountain that inspired Cezanne for three hours hours one foggy night. White glistening rocks, 500 ft. drop-offs, and heavy packs illuminated by head lamps.  At one point we tied ourselves together with a scarf just in case one of us was to fall.  It was worth it to camp in a church at the top of the mountain;  to drink, play music, and cook raclette in the fireplace.
  • Rented the most French apartment I’ve ever seen, complete with a tiny kitchen and the full works of Edith Piaf.
  • Ran from tear gas in Lyon as French students fought with the riot police.  It exposed us to the French peoples’ distaste for work (the retirement age was recently pushed from 60 to 62, spurring riots that shut down highways, gas stations, airports, and trains).
  • Slept in the 2 ft.wide-wide hallway of an overnight train to Alba, Italy, waking up alternately by gesticulating Genovese and grandmothers that seemed to have packed for the apocalypse.
  • Bought our first true European truffle, and tried it on everything from mac and cheese to pizza to omelettes to pasta with béchamel (which I liked so much that I made it at the last Underground Market).
  • Stood under the Eiffel Tower as it began to flash, and realized how much it seems like a spaceship from that angle.
  • Harvested olives in Tuscany until I caught the flu, and walked leisurely like old people through the streets of Tarquenia, stopping at each shop to admire the full legs of procuitto.  It was amazing to see them hand slice that stuff, pure artists).

The one thing I didn’t do was update my blog, but I did write (on real paper no less) and will try to post some of it here very soon. For now, I’m happy to be back and getting into the swing of things again.

The first order of duty was to organize two Wild Kitchen dinners, each featuring nine of my favorites dishes from Europe, with a forageSF twist.  One of my favorite courses of the night was soup de poisson avec aioli maison de nori sauvage.  This dish was inspired by a meal we had in Cassis (a small town in the south of France, from which the crème de’ gets its name).  It was exactly what I’d been looking for since I got to Europe:  a good meal, perfectly cooked, served simply.

Soupe de poisson is essentially a very flavorful fish stock, served with crostini, spicy aioli, and cheese.  The secret is to get an intense rich flavor of seafood and spice.  Rather than being “fishy,” it was more of round and full profile.  I first imagined was just a reduction of fish stock, with the flavor concentrated by long cooking, but as we worked we discovered it needed more to get it just right.

First we experimented with a simple fish stock, which is nothing more than halibut bones, garlic, carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaf.  After cooking for an hour we reduced the liquid by more than half.  This gave us a good flavor, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.  It tasted like fish, but didn’t have that same richness.  We finally found it by adding reduced chicken stock, brandy, oyster liquor and crab “goodies.” If you don’t have those, the stock will still be good, but the fullness they add to the flavor is worth the extra work.

To top it off I made an aioli of wild nori and Sriracha.  Nori is a seaweed I collect locally; its similar to the seaweed used to wrap sushi and our local variety grows abundantly up and down the coast.  We put the aioli on crostini, added a side of mozzarella cheese, and that was it.  A really simple course that was the most popular dish of the night.

Wild Nori Aioli

If you’ve ever made aioli before, it’s the same process, but with addition of chopped nori and Sriracha towards the end. The nori really gives a great layer to the flavor and eating seaweed always makes me feel good. I used nori that I collected during the mid summer when it’s at its peak, and preserved it by cleaning and drying it out. You should try your hand at it too, nori is a great thing to have around to put in soups, and in this case, aioli.

-2 egg yolks

-1 qt. blend oil (a blend of olive and canola) or canola oil

(Pure olive oil has too strong of a taste for aioli.)

-Sriracha hot sauce

-2 cups dried nori (preferably foraged yourself, because its so fun, but don’t feel bad about buying pre-made sheets)

-1/2 clove garlic

-2 tsp. Dijon mustard

-4 tbsp. lemon juice

-Salt/pepper to taste

  1. Pulse eggs, minced garlic, and lemon juice in food processor.
  2. Add the oil, a drop at a time until you have an emulsion, and then add the rest of your oil in a slow but steady stream. You know you’re done when your aioli ceases to be liquid eggs, and thickens to become lovely silky mayo.
  3. Add  nori, and Sriracha, and pulse to incorporate.  Aioli is really a matter of personal taste, so if you feel it’s too thick, add a drop or two of water, not sharp enough, add some more lemon, and of course salt and pepper to taste…feel free to experiment.

Simple Fish Soup

This is essentially a really rich fish stock, and goes amazingly well with the spicy aioli. And it's a fun dish to serve and eat: first, you bring out three bowls containing the crostini, aioli, and cheese as well as the pot of the fish stock. Spread aioli on top of three crostini and sprinkle some cheese on top. Lay these pieces in a bowl and ladle fish stock over it until it slightly covers the bread, then eat by spooning the soaked bread in your mouth. Bon appétit!

-5 lb. halibut bones (or other non-oily white fish such as haddock, hake, or sole). Have your fish guy cut them into pieces about the size of your hand.

-1 lb. carrot

-1 lb. celery

-2 lb. onion

-1/2 lb. fennel

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1 1/2 cups white wine

-1/2 cup brandy

-2 gal chicken stock

-1 bay leaf

-Salt and pepper to taste

- 3 tbsp crab "goodies" (brains and organs from inside a cooked crab)

-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Add fish bones to a oiled stockpot over medium high, cook about 15 minutes until caramelized.
  2. Add rough chopped veggies, brandy, wine, chicken stock, bay leaf, and soy and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down to a simmer as soon as it boils and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  4. You’ll know its done when you taste the rich flavors of the stocks coming together. Strain everything through a cheesecloth lined strainer.
  5. Return the soup to the pot and cook it over medium-high heat until it has reduced by half, about an hour.
  6. Serve with sides of crostini, aioli, and mozzarella cheese. You can’t miss with these flavors.

So the trip was great! We ate good food, met good people, and had some adventures, but it's nice to be back.

Iso

Recipes by Iso Rabins and Jordan Grosser

photos by Valerie Luu

wild kitchen

Pics from our last dinner

Hey all This last week we did three wild kitchen dinners in a row. Was fun, and really exhausting.  I love cooking, and being able to do it on that scale was a good time.  We're going to be doing at least 3 more this month, look out for the menu in about a week. We're also going to be offering ten $40 tickets per meal  (in addition to the the 55 $80 tickets).    I like the idea of the dinners being more accessible, but I couldn't pay the rent, and get the quality of food I serve, if they were all that price.  If you can afford the $80 ticket, please leave the lower priced seats for those who can't.  I will be announcing the sale of these lower cost tickets on twitter a few days before the general tickets go on sale, so if you're not already, follow us (that phrase has always stuck me as strange, but what else is there...twitter us....join us....). Anyway, onto the pics! These were taken by one ms. Andria Lo, I really like her style.  If you want to check out the next dinner, please sign up for our email list in the "subscribe" box at foragesf.com

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Pics from July Wild Kitchen Dinners

Here are our favorite pics from our last couple Wild Kitchen dinners by our amazing photographer Robin Jolin (robinjolin.com), who always makes the food look even more delicious than in real life. This dinner was eight courses, and featured a lot of great summer fruit, as well as some forageables from the coast and inland.  Thanks to all the people who came, it was a great crowd, and especially to the people who bartered such great stuff. Remember, we're always looking for people to barter skills, kitchen equipment, massages and the like. If you haven't checked them out yet, and want to get emailed when they're happening, sign up in the subscribe box on the homepage at foragesf.com. Thanks

Iso

wild kitchen

June Wild Kitchen pics

Here are some pics from our last Wild Kitchen dinner. If you’re interested in coming to the next one, sign up in the “subscribe” box at foragesf.com, and we’ll send you an email when its coming up. Thanks to everyone who came to the dinners this past Thursday and Friday. It was our first attempt at doing two in a row, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

photos by Robin Jolin: robinjolin.com

Thanks!

Recipes

Nettle Is Great...Wild Nettle Soup Recipe

nettlesoup

nettlesoup

Nettle is great. Its all around, good for you, plus there’s the element of danger when you’re harvesting. It’s like collecting sea urchins. Will it get you? Are those gloves really thick enough to ward off those spiny stems? A question Ive been forced to answer in the negative far too many times.  For those of you that like a bit of danger with your foraging, but aren’t quite up for wild mushroom collecting or boar hunting, the nettle is a good bet.

Brennessel

Brennessel

There are two kinds of nettle that grow in our area (that area being Northern CA).Urtica diocea, which is also known as river nettle, and Urtica urens, which I call farm nettle, its more often cultivated, and much less intense, cousin.  River nettle is what grows most often in the wild, so that’s what I end up using most of the time. You find it often growing in stream beds and in other moist nutrient rich environments. “Farm Nettle” can also be found wild, although much less often, in what are referred to as “disturbed places”.  Areas where the earth has just been upset for some reason (hint: there’s some in Golden Gate park if you know where to look).

River nettle (diocea) is much more intense than in both sting and flavor. Whereas farm (urens) will give you a bit of a prick to let you know its nettle, river nettle will bite you, a searing pain that, instead of going away after several hours of throbbing, actually seems to turn into a general numbness/tingle for as much as 48 hours (hint: use vinegar to get rid of the sting, or if you’re near a marsh, the goo from the base of cattails works too). If you’re using it in soup, river nettles are really the best.  The intensity comes through in the soup in all the best ways.

With that said, lets get on with it. Go collect some! I wont tell you my spots, but I will tell you that they like to grow in moist, nutrient rich soils.  Try to harvest them before the plant has gone to seed.  As in all plants, you want to collect them when they’re putting the most amount of energy into the part you want to eat…perhaps confusing, but a good principle. When plants are flowering, eat the flower, when they’re shooting up out of the ground in spring, eat the shoot, when they’ve gone to seed, eat the seed (although I havnt heard of people eating nettle seed, I don’t see why not). Enough talk, on to the recipe.

This soup is a real standby for The Wild Kitchen (my underground restaurant).  People love it, so it keeps coming back from month to month while nettle is in season.

You’ll need:

Food:

leek

leek

-1 lb nettle (collect it, or you can often find it at farmers markets in season)

-1 lb russet potatoes

-1 lb leek

-6 Cups chicken stock

-2 Tbsp butter

-Salt/pepper to taste

-Small tub crème fraiche

Equipment:

-Heavy gloves (seriously. If you’re using the thin latex kind, so popular in restaurant kitchens and the nether regions of the airport security line,  wear double, or even triple.  A good thick pair of dishwashing gloves works perfectly)

-Heavy bottomed soup pot

-Stand up or hand (immersion) blender

-Wooden spoon

-Scissors

-mixing bowl

1.First, you’ve got to deal with the nettle.  Put a pot of salted water on to boil. With your gloves on, use scissors to cut the leaves from the woody stem, discarding any brown leaves. Wash under cold water.  Get a mixing bowl, and fill it with iced and salted water. Throw nettle into boiling water for 5 minutes, drain, then immediately place in ice water. This is called blanching and shocking. The boil gets rid of the nettle sting, and the ice water helps it retain its vibrant green color. Once they’re cold, squeeze water out of nettles, and reserve.

2. Cut off the white section of the leeks, slice them lengthwise, and wash very well. Tons of dirt likes to get stuck in leeks, and it’s the last thing you want in your soup. After they’re clean, chop them and reserve.

3.  Dice potatoes.

4. Melt butter in pot over medium heat, making sure not to let it burn. When it begins to bubble, throw in the leeks, cook 5 minutes (if they start to brown, turn down the flame, you want them to sweat).  Add potatoes, cook 5 minutes. Add nettle, cook 5 minutes.

5. Pour in chicken stock, mix, turn up heat until it comes to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.

6. Allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Turn off heat and either blend with you immersion blender, or if using a stand-up, blend in batches with a ventilated blender (take that little plastic thing out of the middle of the lid), and a towel on top. With the danger sounding too much like you dad, BE CAREFUL!. Hot soup on the face is not fun.

7. When its blended, add two spoonsfulls of crème fraiche, mix. Serve hot with a drizzle of crème fraiche on top. This soup will taste quite “green”.  Crème fraiche will balance it to your liking.

8. Enjoy! And regal your friends with your daring tales of nettle foraging, they’ll be impressed.

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Acorn Ginger Bread

Acorn flour is delicious. A bit (well, more than a bit), time intensive to actually get the flour from the acorns, but once you do, you can treat it just like regular flour. I like to use 1/3 acorn to 2/3 white flour in recipes.  It gives the bread/cake/muffin/ice cream, a really great nutty fullness which I really like. I won't go through the actual acorn processing steps here, but there are many great guides already online for that. Here is a great recipe that we made for the last Wild Kitchen. We served it with plain old vanilla ice cream, but it's also good with whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup leached acorn flour ( this is pretty hard to come by if you don't make your own, we have it from time to time for sale.

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 3/4 cup hot water

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:

Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan . Heat oven to 325°.Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat on low speed of electric mixer until ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase mixer speed to medium; beat for about 3 minutes longer. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cut into squares and serve with freshly whipped cream. To serve leftover gingerbread, warm slightly in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.

This gingerbread freezes well: cut into squares and wrap individually. Thaw and warm in the microwave just before serving.