On March 19, SHED’s Culinary Director Perry Hoffman and chef de cuisine Bryan Oliver led a group of 30 or so on a spring foraging foray looking for miner’s lettuce, mustard flowers, wild fennel, Douglas fir shoots, and more through Dry Creek Valley.
The group then headed back for a spring lunch at SHED featuring onion blossoms, pea flowers, miner’s lettuce, mustard, chickweed, radish flowers, meadow cress, watercress, forget-me-nots, calendula, wild wood sorrel, and chervil.
The marble slab table was the base for the creation of an artful salad of foraged greens, asparagus and baby leeks dressed with salted yogurt, asparagus coulis, and charred leek vinaigrette.
Braised spring lamb with fiddlehead ferns, green olives, wild radish, and wild fennel accompanied.
The meal concluded deliciously with a Brillat-Savarin cheese covered with olive oil and wild herbs.
A Napa Valley native, Perry literally grew up in fine dining wine country kitchens, as his grandparents Sally and Don Schmitt were the original owners of The French Laundry in Yountville. He has worked at the Boonville Hotel, Santé Restaurant at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Auberge du Soleil, and most recently, étoile Restaurant at Domaine Chandon, where he garnered a four-star review from the San Francisco Chronicle and a Michelin Star for three continuous years.
Perry joined SHED as the Culinary Director in fall 2015. Here his culinary focus is in showcasing the links between responsible farming, ingredient-driven cooking, and flavorful food. His passion is for creating dishes that showcase the remarkable produce that grows within a 10-mile radius of SHED, including those things that can be hunted and foraged.
The Wild Things
Here is the list of all the edible things Perry and Bryan found for the group during the foraging foray:
Douglas Fir buds
Little brown mushrooms