Some Bay Area Restaurants Cooking With Weeds On ‘Wild Food Week’

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Several Bay Area restaurants are taking part in “Wild Food Week,” serving meals made from weeds.

When UC Berkeley professor Philip Stark walks past a yard, he dosen’t see weeds, he sees food in weeds such as Bermuda buttercup, wild onions and bristly oxtongue.

Stark is promoting the event, where several Bay Area restaurants will serve professionally prepared meals, made from weeds.

Head chef Chris Kiyuna at Perennial is one of them. KPIX 5 interviewed Kiyuna when he was preparing narrowleaf plantain.”This is a non-native plant that everyone thinks is just a weed but was once cultivated for food,” he said.

Mission Heirloom in Berkeley is also serving weeds this week as well, but owner Bobby Chang said it takes a special kind of customer. “Definitely has an open mind, is not afraid to try new different flavors,” Chang said.

Stark cautioned those who are looking to harvest weeds outside their home. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t eat it,” he said.

Some plants like the common clover may be safe to eat, but taste terrible.

More from Don Ford
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