Return to the wild: Naturalist cuisine

Posted on July 6, 2011


With Scandinavian chef, Magnus Nilsson gracing Sydney’s Crave food festival this year, I felt inspired to share with you some of my favourite videos which reflect the naturalist approach to cuisine. Nilsson represents a philosophy to use localised produce seasonally and to respect the heritage and ecology of the environment. It is also a cooking technique: to cook the produce simply and in it’s most natural form.

Eating at Vue de Monde Rialto this month, I felt inspired by Shannon Bennett’s naturalist approach to food and sustainability. I hope you get some inspiration to forage yourself, it may be as simple as choosing local produce from farmers markets, researching where the food you eat is from, or growing your own produce in the backyard. People are becoming more aware of food miles and are returning to traditional methods of eating. To quote Olafur Eliasson in ‘Noma: Time and Place in Nordic cuisine’: ” When we look at a plate of food, we should see the greater ecosystem…if we can find out where the food comes from and goes to, maybe this knowledge can be made into a kind of flavour-enhancer”.

Read up on advocates of naturalism from fine-dining like Noma, Mugaritz, Attica, Le Chateubriand, Quay, D.O.M , The Royal Mail Hotel, Malling & Schmidt and Fäviken Magasinet. Cook it Raw is a great place to start educating yourself, it is an event that brings together a collection of top chefs to learn about the ecology of an area, and to cook solely from the land. Food blogger Food Snob, has a lovely feature story about Faviken restaurant, and Cook it Raw 2010.

If you would like to forage for yourself, Wild Edibles is a great Iphone application, which provides a photo catalogue of wild plants edible for consumption. Beware: it is a guide only.

Enjoy the videos. I found them on Youtube, great place isn’t it.

Ben shewry of Attica:

Cook it raw:

 Rene Redzepi of Noma:

Dan Hunter of The Royal Mail Hotel: 

Magnus Nilsson of Faviken:

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