Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Foraging Dinner at Woodfire Grill: Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Here's what you do Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

Tama Matsuoka Wong brings her foraging expertise to the Woodfire Grill on Tuesday Night for a unique four course dinner.
It's only a weed if you don't want it.  That's Tama Matsuoka Wong's battle cry.  Imagine.  Wild garlic and potato pancakes.  Chickweed crostini.  Smoked salmon with cardamine cress mousseline and lemon sauce.  Sounds good right?  The one thing they have in common is that their flavor emanates from plants we'd normally uproot and toss in a weeding frenzy.  The once Harvard-educated lawyer is now a forager extraordinare and main supplier to the three Michelin star Daniel Boulud in New York.  Here's an excerpt from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:
"Tama Matsuoka Wong examined the unruly greenery growing in one of a dozen raised beds in her New Jersey backyard. Most gardeners would be reaching for a spade or a bottle of herbicide to eradicate this bushy plant. Ms. Wong had a very different reaction; she saw a crop, ready to be harvested. 
"Look at that beautiful deadnettle!" She snapped off big handfuls and shoved them into a large Ziploc bag. "It's only a weed if you don't want it." 
In a few hours a truck would arrive at Ms. Wong's house in rural Hunterdon County to pick up bags of deadnettle, creeping jenny, chickweed and other plants most people would step over or pull out. They will be delivered to Daniel, the three-Michelin-star Manhattan flagship of chef Daniel Boulud. Ms. Wong is the restaurant's forager, relied on to help keep the menu diverse, unique and flavorful. "With Tama, the level of trust is absolute," said Daniel's Chef de Cuisine Eddy Leroux. "We know that if she brings us something, it's unique and pristine.""

Some of the herbs Wong forages.  Don't they look familiar?  Like something you just weeded last week from your garden?  Maybe it's time to take another look at your weeds!  
Join Ms. Wong and the very talented chefs at Woodfire Grill (you know the one - Kevin Gillespie of Top Chef fame's place) on Tuesday Night for an inspired and foraged dinner of four courses with carefully selected wine pairings.   There's a reception at 6:30p and dinner starts at 7.  Cost is $120 per person, and that includes a copy of her book.  You really need to make a reservation for this one!  Do so at Woodfire Grill's site.

Wong has written a book with her chef collaborator, Eddy Leroux.  Get it at Amazon for  13.99 on Kindle. The Hardcover is $14.99.  We'd actually recommend you spring for it.  So much better for cooking.

Here's what you do on Tuesday

First:  It's back to the grind after a long labor day weekend.  So, settle in slowly with breakfast at home. As the summer is coming to a close, let's celebrate seafood.  How about a shrimp omelet?  Here's a great recipe from Mamoru.  $15

Shrimp and cheese omelet for breakfast.

Second:  Let's keep the nature theme going today and learn to draw trees.  Did you know the Atlanta Botanical Garden has regular classes on gardening, art, cooking, preserving, etc. etc.?  Today, it's Drawing trees.  The class is held each Tuesday from August 28 - Sept 25.   It's at 10a - 1p, or 6p - 9p.  So, we are a little late in signing up, but you still have 4 out of the 5 classes you can attend.  Give it a try if you'd like, or you can wait for the Drawing Nature class that starts up on November 6.   The fee for the class is $170 for all 5 classes.  Register here.

Third:  Lunch.  Let's have a light lunch to keep plenty of room for dinner.  Something really fun to do is to have lunch at the cafe at the High museum.  An award winning museum design.  A relaxed and elegant feel.  It's a great place to have a casual lunch.  Get one of the salads or sandwiches and soak in the culture.  You don't have to get admission to the museum itself to have lunch, so the cost is just around $10.  But, of course we recommend checking out the museum too.   There are some great exhibits on right now including Richard Misrach's photography.  Admission is around $20 for non-members, free if you have a membership.

Have lunch at the Cafe at the High Museum.
Fourth:  Nap.  It's Tuesday afternoon.  Get a little rest in before dinner.

Finally:  Reception is at 6:30 at Woodfire.  Don't forget to make your rez.  Enjoy!  And learn!


For Two People

Breakfast: $15
Art Class: $170 for 5 classes, or about $34 per class
Lunch: $20
Dinner: $120 per person - includes book and wine.

Total: $344 (if you spread out art classes over 5 Tuesdays)

Day Map:

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