The James Beard Awards are known as the Oscars of the food world – and an Edmonton man is nominated for one.
“Ultimately, the ecosystems we live in or around have a bounty of food.”
Kossowan is on a quest to get right to the source of our food. In the video series, he takes chefs and food industry insiders on culinary adventures in wild food. Participants collect foods from the local ecosystem and cook near the source–be that in a bush camp or next to a stream.
“The objective is to put up a thoughtful plate.”
“That can mean anything from…eating pike roe in a grilled cheese sandwich or turning liver into a dumpling–making use of animals in different ways and looking at species that are often wasted,” Kossowan said.
He referenced the concept of terroir, a foundation of wine-making, but not as widely used in food sourcing.
“We’re kind of burying that into the ethos of the project, too, to try and see where we are, when we are, what’s available – and what can we put in to make something delicious out of that.”
While participants in From the Wild tend to be experts in food, Kossowan believes given the inclination, the average person could source their own food.
Community cooperation is important. For example, From the Wild partner Jeff Senger will bring along milk or eggs for backcountry cooking.
“If we’re cooking with cream in a dish, it’s cream from his cow or eggs from his hens or mine – that kind of thing,” Kossowan said.
“Between what you can grow and what you can access in the wild, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t source.”
Season 5 is currently in production. It shows Kossowan and guests heading to an alpine lake in January, the Pacific coast during summer and back to Alberta for the fall hunting and foraging season.
“It’s a lot of good eating and a lot of important time with good friends.”