I see the world very differently now. In the past as I sped down the road, I often admired the beautiful yellow flowers growing everywhere. But it was a passing thought which hardly even registered in the clutter of daily life. Now I see brassica – a delicious, edible cousin to cabbage and broccoli. I see our vegetable terrine, beef tartar and Floral cocktail adorned.
When Jacob and I first started talking about the concept for Ramble, we talked about native Texas cuisine. We envisioned a place where our guests would leave the restaurant KNOWING what Texas tasted like. The actual grass, air and soil. The terroir.
Along with Alicia Wells (a local Austin-based artist and photographer that I’m lucky enough to call my sister-in-law), I joined Jacob on a foraging expedition on the first day of Spring. It was a beautiful, misty, cool Spring morning. The sunrise that day was spectacularly colored. We followed Jacob as he knelt beside Salado creek. Within 5 minutes, he’d half-filled his backpack with edibles. All within an arm’s reach. It hit me how much bounty there was. Bounty in things I previously would have called weeds.
Jacob walks, talks, and astounds you with his encyclopedic knowledge and hands you things to taste and smell. I joke that every foraging trip turns into me feeling as if I’ve eaten a salad.
I wish that everyone could have this experience. Look closer. See, taste, touch and smell Texas. Ground yourself. Connect.