It had been raining every day for two weeks. California was finally finding some much-needed relief from a severe, two-year drought.
So, when a rare window of blue sky opened up one morning, Cameron Cole Rahtz, the forager for The Restaurant at Meadowood, jumped on the opportunity. He grabbed Esben Holmboe Bang and me, we grabbed our raincoats, piled into his car, and raced off towards the woods. We found the forest shaggy with moss and verdant with new growth. Delighted by the abundance, Holmboe Bang started compiling a wish list of wild herbs and mushrooms for Rahtz to help him find for the dinner he was cooking the next day: California red bay, chickweed, Miner’s lettuce, sorrel, oyster mushrooms…
Esben Holmboe Bang is the Danish chef of the two Michelin-starred restaurant Maaemo in Oslo, Norway, where I had the chance to dine earlier this year. He was the tenth guest chef to cook at this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas hosted by Christopher Kostow, with wines paired by Colgin Cellars.