One Chef's Transformative Year Cooking from Eva's Farm
Chef Didi Emmons' intimate portrait of Eva Sommaripa, one of New England's most eccentric and charismatic growers, has lessons for us all. From arugula and basil, to spruce shoots and stinging nettles, this book tells you how to prepare, store, save and eat just about everything. Highly recommended!
—Jane Black, IATP Food & Community Fellow
2012 IACP FINALIST - FOOD MATTERS CATEGORY
2012 Nautilus Award Gold Winner
The story of a chef, a farmer, and the wild foods that made them friends
Curiosity sparked Emmons’s initial venture down the Massachusetts coast to meet the celebrated farmer Eva Sommaripa, whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible “weeds” supply many top Northeastern chefs. On that day, she experienced a flavorful epiphany. The herbs and greens she tried were explosively delicious and needed little adornment before eating. She sensed at once that Eva had a secret wisdom about plants, and between the two of them a fertile collaboration soon took hold. During the seasons that followed, Didi walked through Eva’s plantings, listened to her stories, and created inspired meals. She discovered a whole repertoire of wild flavors that transformed her connection to the food she creates—and, in the process, made a lifelong friend.
Wild Flavors is the fruit of that friendship. The story follows Didi through a year in Eva’s Garden and offers both the warmth of their shared tales as well as the exquisite foods Didi came to develop using only the freshest of ingredients (cardoon, African basil, calaminth) and wild edibles (autumn olive, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). Alongside the unique seasonal offerings, Didi provides profiles and tips on forty-six uncommon plants, and shares Eva’s wisdom about staying connected and maintaining a sane and healthy lifestyle in an increasingly hectic world.
Food enthusiasts and curious gardeners alike will discover their own secrets for finding, growing, and creating new Wild Flavors.