To the unitiated, foraging can seem like an overwhelming expedition — you have to seperate the good plants from the bad, you have to invest a lot of time, and you're searching for items that often seem like they could just be purchased. But for anyone who has gone hunting for morels or picked a bunch of ramps out of the ground, it can be a wholeheartedly satisfying experience.
The trick to getting started is to make sure you have the right person to help you. We caught up with Chris Hastings of Birmingham's Hot and Hot Fish Club to get his advice on where to begin. His main advice is that "getting local knowledge is key." He points out that every region has a variety of topographies and so depending on what item you want to forage for, you know need an expert that is hyper-local to the area you need to search in. Hastings suggests going online to find the right people. "There will often be information on chefs who forage, there will be people who do it as their livelihood," he says. "What you want is someone in that area who knows the area, knows the land, knows the difference between safe and not safe."
For more on foraging, watch the video above! And head to Hot and Hot Fish Club when in Birmingham.