With an abundance of kitchen gadgets in stores and farmers markets sprawling with countless options, cooking a beautiful meal can feel like an intimidating task. But what if all you needed was a pan, a knife, a fire, and someone to show you what nature’s grown to nourish you? According to Ashley Rodriguez, it is. We are thrilled to partner with her on a project where she invites us all to rethink the way we eat, to value presence over perfection, and to engage all of our senses by cooking and eating outside.
After spending years in the kitchen as a food blogger and author, Ashley shifted her focus outdoors. In her new video series, Kitchen Unnecessary, she connects with people who show her how to forage, fish, farm, and otherwise partake of what nature is offering. Daniel Winkler was her first guide.
He led Ashley through a moss-covered forest of the Pacific Northwest on a hunt for wild treasure: edible mushrooms. “There’s something so exhilarating about the hunt and knowing that there’s so much out here that we could be eating,” Ashley narrates.
In the episode, Ashley demonstrates how simple an outdoor meal can be. Cooking fireside with a few basics like cast iron pans and a sharp knife, she makes good on the promise of Kitchen Unnecessary. Elegant dishes come together without a single gadget. On a blanket in the woods, she and Daniel indulge in Warm Mushroom Salad with Chicories, Cast Iron Pizza with Mushrooms, Speck, and Arugula, and Roasted Pumpkin Fondue with Chanterelles and Chorizo. We’ll be featuring the recipes on our blog in the coming weeks...stay tuned.