Food Lover: Pascal Baudar, Wild Man

The master forager, wild food adviser, and author spotlights some of his latest delicious finds

Belgium-native Pascal Baudar has made a career out of foraging. His locally found wild ingredients have made their way into the kitchens of such star chefs as Ludo Lefebvre and C.J. Jacobson. Here he spotlights a few of his favorites:

1. White Fir
“It grows at 6,000 to 8,000 feet and is mostly for infusions, like the kind at Trois Mec.”

2. Sycamore Bark
“I torch it to make smoked vinegar.Anything you put it on tastes like it’s been barbecued.”

3. Elderberries
“I use them in wine and jam or extract the yeast for beer.”

4. Beer Mix
“In place of hops, I make beer with foraged grass, willow and cottonwood leaves, yarrow, and mugwort.”

5. Black Mustard
“You can find this growing near the freeways in L.A. It’s everywhere.”

6. Rabbit Tobacco
“We find it in the chaparral. Roast meats with it, and it adds a whiskey or brandy flavor.”

7. Black Walnuts
“Fermented, they taste just like steak sauce. Or you can make nocino, a traditional walnut liqueur, with them.”

8. Yucca Flowers
“Pickle or boil them to remove the bitterness. They add beautiful texture to a salad.”

9. Mountain Berries
“There are juniper, manzanita, coffee, and toyon berries here. Put them into a drink or vinegar.”

Pascal Bauder is one of 25 L.A. “Food Lovers” featured in our November, 2014 Food Lovers Guide on newsstands now