To discover the very best local and wild produce that Lancashire has to offer, food enthusiasts have enjoyed the unique opportunity to explore and unearth a wide range of seasonal wild foods right here on their doorstep.

A unique foraging experience. Lancashire’s Italian restaurant La Locanda (in Gisburn, near Clitheroe) enjoys many partnerships with local businesses, suppliers and food producers. One particular collaboration is with Craig Worrell, one of the UK’s leading experts on foraging for wild foods. 
Along with Craig, La Locanda owner and Chef Patron Maurizio Bocchi invited a group of equally passionate guests on a guided experience to a local foraging location in Gisburn Forest.
Starting bright and early, the group went in search of a wide range of seasonal wild foods adorning the hedgerows, meadows and woodland at this time of year, including; berries, fruits, roots, shoots, seeds, fungi and aromatics. 
There was certainly an abundance of edible and medicinal things to forage, such as hogweed seeds, wild sorrel, beech nuts, blackberries, wound wort, and a kaleidoscope of wild mushrooms including Fly Agaric and the ultimate prize, Porcini! 
Craig also discussed safe identification features, cooking and preserving techniques and some ancient folklore with regards to the wild edibles.
The foraged ingredients were then brought back to the restaurant kitchen where creative chef Craig and La Locanda’s Chef Maurizio created and served a beautifully crafted, 5-course ‘wild-inspired’ menu containing their foraged finds, for the guests to enjoy.
Guest (and Visit Lancashire competition winner) Lyndsay Hargreaves from Clitheroe said “The foraging was a great experience and very interesting. The things we learnt with Craig were amazing, from different smells to tasting wild food, which we would never would have known we could eat, especially ants … I have picture evidence!”

What is foraging? The act of ‘foraging’ - gathering wild food for free, has grown in popularity over more recent years. Historically, ancestors would forage as a way of life - from forests and rivers to meadows and coastlines. With La Locanda’s foraging experiences for each season, enthusiasts are able to learn more about nature’s larder right here in Lancashire.
Chef Maurizio, who has recently been chosen to represent the region as a ‘Taste Ambassador’ by Marketing Lancashire says “Here at La Locanda, we are incredibly passionate about sourcing the very best local produce. With our menu being refreshed weekly to celebrate the flavours, aromas and textures of the freshest seasonal and foraged ingredients we can source.”

•    More than 80% of La Locanda’s ingredients for their Italian dishes are locally sourced.
•    Follow Craig Worrell of Edible Leeds & 4 Wild Seasons: @edible.leeds




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