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46 plants and 150 recipes in 4 seasons
The minute Didi Emmons, a chef from Boston, met Eva Sommaripa--a near legendary farmer whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible “weeds” grace the menus of many famous restaurants in the Northeast--something amazing happened. Not only did Eva’s Garden become Didi’s refuge and herb-infused Shangri-La, the two women also forged a lasting friendship that has blossomed and endured over time.
Wild Flavors follows a year at Eva’s Garden through the seasons. It showcases Emmons’s creative talents, featuring herbs (African basil, calaminth, lovage) and wild foods (autumn olives, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits. The wide-ranging recipes reflect the shifting seasonal harvest and are easy to follow, but best of all, Emmons shows us how these herbs, greens, and wild foods improve and transform the flavors in our food.
Emmons also shares some of the valuable lessons she has learned from Eva about maintaining a healthy, satisfying lifestyle, putting the emphasis on community, thrift, conservation, and other time-honored virtues. Wild Flavors is a cookbook that celebrates the interconnectedness and beauty of nature, farms, animals, and ourselves.
"Award-winning food writer and Boston chef, Didi Emmons, has written a charming cookbook. Wild Flavors chronicles a year spent with farmer Eva Sommaripa on her incredibly forward-thinking farm, complete with 150+ innovative, explosively flavorful recipes that Didi developed to help you take full advantage of the best your farmer's market or natural foods market has to offer. You'll never look at produce quite the same way."
--Steven Raichlen, author, Barbecue! Bible, and PBS host, Barbecue University
Didi Emmons began cooking omelets when she was ten and had her own catering business by the age of fourteen. She earned a BS in foodservice management at NYU and moved to Boston, working first for food writer Steven Raichlen in Boston.
Emmons worked as a stagiaire to receive her Grande Diplome from La Varenne (cooking school) in Paris and then returned to work in Boston kitchens. She opened and ran four successful restaurants over the next 13 years.
She has written two cookbooks, the first, Vegetarian Planet, which was nominated for a James Beard Award, and Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, which won the IACP award (formerly the Julia Child Awards) in the healthy cooking category.
Emmons subsequently opened Haley House Bakery Cafe, a non-profit cafe in Roxbury, MA whose staff are people transitioning from homelessness and incarceration. She has since begun a program at Haley House Bakery Cafe, called "Take Back the Kitchen," teaching Roxbury and Dorchester residents how to eat and cook healthfully.