Last month I began working on the beginnings of a story about ail des bois, or ramps, for the Montreal Gazette, our city’s estimable daily newspaper.
I was so excited to write this story for a million reasons, the main one being a chance to go on a foraging adventure with Nancy and Francois, the rad, supremely talented duo behind wild foods restaurant Les Jardins Sauvages.
If you had a chance to see the print copy of the Gazette yesterday, then you saw the best part — three pages of crazy photos, full of color and inspiration and life. (I’ll try to scan in the photos later this week).
But all of the photos featured in the online slide show are different from the print version, and were from the photoshoot that I alluded to several weeks ago. It was such an honor and a thrill to have my humble food captured by a professional photographer. I’ve never, ever seen my food look so good.
The story also marks the very first time that my recipes have been published professionally. I can’t even begin to explain what that has felt like for me. I thought for so long and so hard about what recipes I wanted to share in the story. I wanted to make sure that they felt like me, that they were food that I make all the time, at home, for myself and for others that I love.
I solicited the ideas of my closest friends, including Sasha and Kathryn and Alison. They all had great ideas, but I realized that I wanted the recipes to represent me in a really honest and genuine way. The purple fingerling potato and fennel gratin pictured above? I was inspired by the exact same dish that I made for dear friends in Ithaca just last month.
I was really happy with the recipes I ended up developing: ramps vinaigrette (pictured above), ramps fregula, and ramps gratin. They’re all so easy to make and I am so happy to share them with you.
I’ll post outtakes from the photoshoot later this week — as well as my own shots from our foraging adventure in the Quebec woods! But in the meantime, I’ll save my two favorite photos for last.
These aerial shots were a collaborative idea between me and John, and I really love how they turned out. They remind me of a Dutch still life, a table spilling over with food. Aren’t they insane?
Read the full story here.