Rachael Dupree
November 1, 2016

Perhaps you’re accustomed to “eating your weeds”—adding dandelion greens or chickweed to a salad, plucking the fruit off a wild persimmon tree or digging up chicory roots for a bitter coffee substitute. Foraging for food is a practice that isn’t lost on the hobby farmer or rural dweller, but now it’s catching on among city-based chefs, as well.

Wild arugula!! Super peppery! @ft33dallas #ft33dallas

A photo posted by mattft33 (@mattft33) on

According to an article that ran on DallasNews.coma handful of Texas chefs are making use of the free food available in the wild by hunting and gathering for the fare they serve in their restaurants. Some of the local specialties they forage for include:

  • wild mustard
  • nettles
  • wild carrot
  • mushrooms
  • prickly pear cactus
  • beautyberries


“”For me it’s a belief system; it’s a philosophy of trying to see what we can do [with what’s around us] because it’s more interesting that way,” says Matt McCallister, chef owner of FT33 Dallas. “I think it makes our cooking more creative.”

Oxalis #ft33garden super lemony

A photo posted by mattft33 (@mattft33) on

McCallister is incorporating foraged foods, like chanterelle mushrooms and purslane, into his entree lineup, as are other Texan “tastemakers,” including Chef Misti Norris, who’s made anything from flavored butter to soda with wild plants, and Chef David Peña of Braindead Brewing, whose favorite finds include wild fruits he transforms into jams.

Candied hedge Apple seeds using the dragee method, finished with cultured butter, sumac and pine. They small amazing!

A photo posted by Misti Norris (@mistinorris90) on

Each chef is careful to harvest safely and responsibly. To read more about their endeavors and to get inspiration for your own foraged meals, check out reporter Elise Pearson’s featured article.

It’s that time of the year..??

A photo posted by Misti Norris (@mistinorris90) on


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