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Near + Far

Untamed Kootenays Takes Guests Foraging for Food Near Fernie

Over the years we’ve come a long way from our ancestors who had to hunt and gather food for survival. But foraging for food isn’t a thing of the past. In fact, finding food from the forest is a highlight for many local chefs and foodie friends who love creating unique, gourmet fare.

It’s so easy to walk into the grocery store or a restaurant down the street and have everything you need in front of your eyes. To have a new appreciation for what we eat, it’s such a fun idea to go into the wild to find food.

Here’s the thing about foraging though — no one really does it. So how would you know where to forage, what to look for, or how to cook your wild loot for the best possible flavour? Although we could try to use dandelions from the park across the street in our salads and call it a day, we’d rather a lesson from the pros instead.

For Island Lake Lodge’s Untamed Kootenays second year, Chef Keith Farkas has been working tirelessly to create two full days of food and fun, including guided hikes, a hands-on lesson in foraging, and meals to make your mouth water the entire three and a half hours it’ll take for you to drive to the lodge.

A hunter and expert forager himself, Farkas and his team will literally take fiddleheads — which isn’t a curse word used in a child’s fairytale, and stinging nettle — which isn’t a part of some witch’s brew — to make a gourmet fare out of something you might otherwise walk by without a second glance.

Farkas says the experience is unparalleled and he encourages people to take a chance. “I view foraging the same way I look at fishing, hunting, and to a certain level, farming. All of these give a real connection to the food you eat. You’re able to see foods in their natural environment and appreciate them more,” he adds.

Instead of poisoning yourself with weeds you happen upon, try foraging with the experts instead.

Spots are incredibly limited for this unique event, so stop everything you’re doing and reserve yours by contacting the Lodge toll-free at 1-888-4CATSKI.

For more information about the event click here.

By Deanna Tucker

There are specific vegetables to pair with wine this summer, and JP Pedhirney has the scoop here.