On a couple of occasions recently, mysterious invitations have appeared in email inboxes around the Bay Area, inviting folks to wild-foods dinners hosted “at a secret location in the Mission.” For $40, you get regional delicacies like acorn gingerbread, wild boar and citrus fruits foraged from Oakland trees.
Behind all that is Iso Rabins, who has started a singular enterprise called “Community-Supported Forage” — kind of like the veggie boxes that appear each week in locavore’s kitchens (officially, “community-supported agriculture”) only the food grows wild and is harvested by folks who know how to do that sort of thing.
SF Weekly has a pretty good rundown of the project, including questions remaining about whether it’s environmentally friendly and, well, legal. It’s a pretty scrumptious read, especially the description of one of those secret Mission dinners:
On the evening of Friday, Feb. 27, Rabins showed up at 18 Reasons, the upscale Guerrero Street art gallery and dining room affiliated with Bi-Rite Market, the Mission’s renowned gourmet food store. The night’s main event was a four-course dinner built around foraged foods, including chickweed salad with Half Moon Bay squid, Portuguese caldo verde soup prepared with nettles, and garganelle pasta with sautéed black trumpet and hedgehog mushrooms….
Chef Morgan Maki took a few minutes to offer a reporter his thoughts on ForageSF’s financial prospects while dinner guests trickled in. “I think if it were going to succeed anywhere, Northern and Central California would be the place,” said Maki, a butcher at Bi-Rite.