So we didn’t make it to the sublime highlands of Scotland this year which was our plan, but it just didn’t work out with the start of the school year etc, etc.
However, once the temperature dropped a little and it started to rain and get damper generally I knew it was time to get my boots on.
This is easier said than done as it always take a week or two to get back into the groove after two months of summer festivals and family summer holidays. so we arranged to go down to a golf course in Surrey where we know the chef and who has access so we are allowed to forage there and last year we found some massive puff balls which blew my mind when I saw them so we were definitely up for the golf course again.
Got to the Gate in Hammersmith early that morning and it was raining carrots and potatoes, so John called in to say the forage meet was off.
There I am hanging around, jazzed on more coffee than is good for you and I’m thinking what to do? I say “come on let’s just go somewhere for an hour or so and I’ll get you back in time for lunch”. The rain wasn’t going to stop me; We (Mariusz, Fabrice and Miguel) all pile into my camper van and jump on the A40 and drive for an hour. As we arrive, it’s raining even harder, but diehard me isn’t going to give up so we take the basket and into the wood we go. Within a few minutes there they are, the little babies: hedgehog mushrooms as we like to call them or as they say in French pied de mouton and loads of them at that.
Packing a full basket, we also come across some winter chanterelles but we left them as they were too small and not ready to pick yet….(and that’s just one of the reasons I’m not telling you exactly where we went!). Back to the restaurant in time for lunch and it’s “let’s get a special on for lunch boys, pied de mouton on toast with sauté shallots , roasted hazelnuts and rocket on toast, RESULT,
I was especially pleased as if I take out a few chefs, I do like to be able to show them how it’s done.