The 7th Annual Wild & Feral Food Week is one of celebration, championing foragers and chefs that bring focus back to wild ingredients in delicious dishes whilst looking at ways to protect and enhance our local landscapes.
This is, of course, close to our hearts as we’ve spent years discovering the taste of Scotland; uncovering magic in the forests, hills, coastlines and hedgerows, capturing them along the way in our Wild Flavour Archive.
So, in honour of this fantastic week, we’re taking a nostalgic look back at some of our favourite dishes from past Buck & Birch events and why they were/are so special to us.
Wild Garlic Crisp and lobster cracker
Wild garlic with wild garlic, wild garlic, wild garlic and cheese - Wild garlic is an easy ingredient to be treated as a garnish but that is not our style. We decided to celebrate it in style and showcase the many ways in which it can be enjoyed in just one mouthful. A dehydrated wild garlic leaf was painted with a wild garlic lacto ferment before being coated in coated in wild garlic seasoning powder. Local goats cheese was then added and topped with pickled wild garlic buds. Spicy, tangy, crispy and delicious.
Lobster cracker - our local take on the Chinese take away favourite, we topped our lobster crackers with a tasty seashore gel before adding a generous dollop of lobster caviar, a sprinkling of lobster snow and some briny seashore succulents. A mouthful of utter coastal decadence.
Stuffed Cherry Blossom
The Buck & Birch dinners have always been a celebratory affair and what better way to start the festivities than with party poppers.
Inspired by the Japanese Sakura blossom festival guests showered each other and the table with cherry blossom whilst tucking into this tasty canapé and getting ready for the meal ahead.
Duck Egg Salad
An absolute favourite at the Buck & Birch. This dish is always a joyous reminder that the winter months are behind us and we have lots of fresh ingredients to look forward to. Simple in its construction but complex in flavour, this is how all salads should be.
Fresh shoots and leaves collected from the forest are dressed in elderberry balsamic vinegar and elderberry capers. Add a perfectly cooked local duck egg seasoned with seaweed salt and some sour dough croutons and you have yourself quite possibly the tastiest take on an egg salads sandwich ever.
Miso Creme Fraiche and reed mace shoots
Another favourite was fresh reed mace shoots with miso creme fraiche dipping sauce.
The shoots have a delicate, fresh cucumber taste and married beautifully with the zing and umami flavours of the miso. Poppy seeds added a lovely hint of nutty sweetness to proceedings.
Seashore dashi broth with squid and coastal greens
The Buck & Birch answer to the Pot Noodle. Dehydrated sea lettuce and seaweed were topped with fresh baby squid and served to the table along with jugs of umami rich coastal broth.
As guests poured the dashi over the dish the seaweed rehydrated and became the 'noodles' whilst the squid gently poached in the briny broth creating a celebration of our local coastline.
West coast oyster
Not only are these some of the most amazing tasting oysters we ever had they were also some of the biggest.
Rather than serve raw we gently poached and roasted the oysters to intensify the flavour before topping with wild garlic pearls, samphire and pepper dulse before serving with a healthy measure of 'sea mist' at the table. It also reminds us how much we miss having guests to feed and entertain and cannot wait to get back there some day soon.
A simple dish but arguably one of the tastiest Rupert has ever created. Fresh, peppery and ultra light with alexander seeds floating on the top for an extra herbal hit. Drinking it through a cow parsley stem that you could then also eat was a total bonus.
A taste so good, that we even dedicated a whole other blog about it (including a make-at-home recipe).
It’s a pleasure to create food and drink that celebrates the land, and even more of a pleasure to share it with you all. While we may not be out of the woods yet, we’ve been hard at work over the last 14 months to plan for the future and finalising our Wild Flavour Archive (the wonderful flavours of Scotland collected and curated over the past 12 years).
If you want to know more about our tasting experiences, please don’t hesitate to get in touch - we’re a friendly bunch.