Veld and Sea is the most incredible wild food foraging company. Located in the deep South of Cape Town, Veld and Sea offers amazing immersive experiences in nature. Their foraging workshops are seasonal, cycling through coastal foraging in summer, mushroom and wild food foraging in autumn and winter and flower foraging in spring. The workshops are hosted in their glasshouse and wild gardens in Cape Point and will take you on a wild food foraging and culinary experience.
In 2019 I joined their Spring Flower workshop and learnt how to create the most beautiful dishes with edible flowers. Read all about the experience in this blog post.
At the end of 2020 I was invited back by Roushanna for their summer coastal foraging workshop. This workshop invites you on a journey of exploration through the edible landscape of the intertidal zone where you learn about the culinary uses of different seaweeds and eat sea urchins straight from the rock pools.
The day begins at Scarborough beach where, armed with your recreational fishing mollusc permit (to be bought in advance from your nearest post office), you learn all about the different seaweeds found in the rock pools. Roushanna teaches you about sustainable foraging practices and how to harvest seaweed, mussels, limpets and sea urchins responsibly. Equipped with this knowledge you are free to begin your foraging of the different elements which will all go towards the seafood lunch spread.
We collected sea lettuce, Atlantic nori, tongue weed, cord weed, wrack or ‘pretzels of the sea’, kelp, slippery orbit, limpets, Mediterranean mussels, and ate fresh sea urchins straight from the rock pools.
Stocked up with just enough ingredients for our lunch we headed back to the Veld and Sea HQ near Cape Point. Snacking on whimsical watermelon and a wild flavour tea we offloaded our foraged goodies into buckets of water to be cleaned and sorted.
We learnt about the incredible nutritional and culinary properties of each of these rock pool ingredients and how best to cook with each of them, followed by a tutorial on how to shuck a limpet and when to know a mussel shouldn’t be eaten.
Next up the preparation of our coastal foraged feast began. We all watched as Gemma, resident wild flavour chef, prepared our shakshuka inspired mussel pot oven an open fire. This was followed by a rainbow plant-based sushi tutorial from Roushanna where we each made our own sashimi and handrolls. Lunch was the served and we enjoyed a scrumptious meal consisting of an arrabiata mussel pot, crostini with wild garlic and flower infused butter, turmeric hummus, limpit ceviche and a soft seaweed salad. Most of the ingredients were either from our intertidal foraging or fresh ingredients from the Veld and Sea flower and veggie garden. The flavours sang sweet melodies in our mouths! For dessert we delighted in the subtle but clever flavours of a poppy petal and kelp syrup ice cream topped with grilled peaches and candied nori sea glass. The flavours were so magical and like nothing I’d ever tasted before!
The whole experience was absolutely incredible, and I left feeling equipped with an exciting new knowledge I didn’t know existed. I would highly recommend this Veld and Sea Coastal Foraging workshop to ocean lovers wanting to see the ocean through a different lens, foodies wanting to experiment with different flavours or eco-conscious humans wanting to learn about sustainable foraging. It’s immersive, it’s beautiful, it’s fun and it’s so different to anything else you’ll experience.
I was incredibly impressed with all the COVID protocols in place and honestly felt completely safe attending this workshop. Masks were worn at all times except for during the meal, we each prepared our own food unless it was prepared by the chefs demo-style with all hygiene practices in place.
The Veld and Sea Coastal Foraging Workshops are hosted throughout the summer months.
Unfortunately Veld and Sea are already fully booked for their coastal foraging workshops on 27 Feb, 13 March and 28 March 2021. But if you’re keen to learn all about the coastal foraging I have described and don’t mind traveling a bit then why not book for the upcoming coastal foraging workshop up the West Coast on 13 April 2021 or their workshop in Plett on 1 May. The tickets cost R800 per person and can be purchased here.