Wild Cooks with the National Film and Television School
A talented bunch for sure! Recently I had the good fortune to join a group from the National Film and Television School as they shot their final year project - 'Wild Cooks'.
I was totally onboard with the concept as soon as it's creator, Sebastien Duchateau approached me asking for support - 2 chefs, 2 foragers, challenged to gather foraged foods from the coastal and woodland areas near Bridport, Dorset; before coming together to share a wild food feast that celebrated the best of 'food for free'.
My role would be straightforward; Aaron Fuest (Survival Instructor and owner of Land To Sea Survival) and I would prepare his woodland location with clay ovens and rocket stoves, and I would then support the shoot with a range of Petromax items, including Skillets, Dutch Ovens and Tripod for the cooking processes. Aaron and I would take care of the fire preparation/management, ensuring the chefs and foragers could focus on combining their foraged foods into masterpieces.
Aaron's woodland provided the ideal location to conduct the woodland forage and for the pairs to come together for the cooking challenge and feast.
Chefs Adrian Martin and Lisa Wieland were each paired with a forager; Adrian with Lisa Cutcliffe (Edulis Wild Food), and Lisa with Emma Gun (Never Mind the Burdocks). Their first challenge was to forage for their ingredients and they spent a couple of days exploring and foraging along the Dorset coast and around Aaron's woodland; whilst Sebastien and his team documented.
They gathered an impressive haul of foraged foods including plaice, ballan wrasse and seaweed from the coast; with rabbit, fungi, nuts, berries and burdock amongst the goods from the woodland.
After a long days foraging they all settled around the campfire discussing and showing off their finds over a mug of nettle soup. The first ideas for their menus were discussed and there was plenty of friendly competitive banter between the paired chefs and foragers!
The following day saw the teams take on their cooking challenge. Aaron and I ensure the stoves and cooking facilities were prepared and maintained whilst the two chefs prepared their foraged ingredients.
It was fantastic to see such talented chefs working in a really 'basic' woodland set-up that was a world away from their usual well-equipped and pristine kitchens! It was also great to see the foragers inspiring the chefs with their suggestions for pairing of the ingredients; it was immediately clear that they were going to prepare some incredible dishes!
...and the results?
Check out these stunning looking dishes below! Some outstanding food created, with my favourite being the rolled rabbit loins with sweet pickled chanterelles and burdock.
As for the table setting, well that had to be fitting of the feast...
A fantastic culmination to a few days spent with a great team! It was a real priviledge to support the 'Wild Cooks' crew and a really interesting opportunity to witness all that goes into television production.
Sebastien and his team now take on the unenviable task of editing all of their hours of footage into their pilot film, which they will then pitch to the BBC. I wish them the best of luck, I really believe 'Wild Cooks' has the potential for a fantastic series!