MEET THE CHEF
Chef and chief forager Jonny Minton
About me and foraging
I feel that I've always been a forager. That is I made the ffort to search for great food. It might be in the wild or more probably in some exotic urban locale like a market or a ethnic food-store. When I get exposed to the good stuff I feel my senses go into overdrive distinguishing and analyzing what the quality is and what place it might take on a menu.
When I was 15 I searched the back field of my grandfather's cottage in rural Sussex. I found this plant growing that had red tasseled tops and green leaves growing at the base. The leaves weren't bitter but they weren't sweet either. They had quite a tang. So I looked in reference books and I was pretty sure it was sorrel and not something inedible. The next weekend thatthe family was down at the cottage I gathered a lot of sorrel leaves. " What are you going to do with those?" I was asked. I reckoned they would make a great soup. I used the formula I'd already worked out for soups that included potatoes chciken stock and a little cream. A " potage " as the French call it. It worked out wonderfully with the fresh acidity of sorrel contrasting with the potato puree. I was given some compliments and I repeated this one several time. My brother-in-law Barry Cole came for lunch and tasted it. He remembers it still he says.