Jeff Smedstad Isn't Afraid Of Foraged Flavor
Food forager Steve Becker and Chef Jeff Smedstad.
Like canning, foraging is making a comeback in popular culture and in the rarified airs of gourmet cooking. Urban foragers, such as those featured last week in this New York Times article, are driven to use food that's going to waste in foreclosed property.
But here in Arizona, traditional foragers have been picking through the brush for years to bring fresh ingredients out of the wilderness and into the kitchens of local chefs.
We asked Chef Jeff Smedstad of Sedona's Elote Cafe how he came to use foraged ingredients.
"Actually, I met a dude in a Circle K who said he had been foraging mushrooms," Smedstad admits. The mushroom guy liked Smedstad's restaurant and wanted to offer him some of his found bounty. Smedstad's not shy, so he gave the mushrooms a shot and loved them.
Years have passed but the chef still loves the challenge of working foraged foods into his menu.
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