I am passionate about all aspects of wild food; how it is sought and found, how it is harvested, processed and ultimately eaten and enjoyed!
The delicious and nutritious bounties of the nature surrounding us daily, are astoundingly unknown and forgotten.
I consider myself an ambassador of wild food, that is any edible which is occurring, growing or living in a natural state; not domesticated, cultivated nor tamed.
Since childhood, I have been entranced and intrigued by the natural world, I have also always been greedy, my first word was “more”; my earliest memories either involve food or creatures or both! Having developed my lifetime passion for nature into a career, I am now a forager, educator, purveyor, consultant and chef of wild food.
I forage daily, meaning I go out and search for all varieties of wild edibles, in the stunning county of Monmouthshire, South Wales, where I am based, and beyond.
I would love to share my knowledge and appreciation of wild edibles with you, whether it be in the capacity of a foraging teacher on a guided excursion, or as a wild food chef and consultant or collaborator.
Book a foraging course online, or reach out to me by email for anything else!
I look forward to meeting you!
Chloe, professional forager and owner
of Gourmet Gatherings.
Wales is an incredibly bountiful country for wild produce. We have a seaweed that tastes exactly like truffles with a hint of garlic, named Pepper dulse! Woodruff, a beautiful woodland plant growing in whorls, once dried, tastes like Amaretto. Wild spinach, plantains, radishes and cabbages line the estuary coast along with intensely flavoured salt marsh herbs, whilst rock samphire hangs from the cliffs. Mushrooms ooze out of the forests from tree trunks and amongst the leaf litter in the most glorious colours and formations, kilos upon kilos of porcini can be harvested in a matter of hours, then I circle back with a headlamp by night, and hundreds more have popped up! Chanterelle, morel, oyster and a myriad of other delicious mushrooms are all abundant, whilst the meadows are bursting with their rainbow-coloured cousins. Our rocky shores are also brimming with the most fantastic shellfish just waiting to be plucked, it is hard to take more than a few steps without coming across an edible. If you know what you are looking for! At any given time of the year, Wales is bountiful, you just have to know where, when and how to find it! That is what I specialise in and what I thrive on doing.
Monmouthshire is a particularly bountiful county; we can boast woodland, coastal, meadow, hedgerow, mountain, river and estuarine habitats, we even have rainforests, which all host an incredible array of biodiversity and biomass of edible flora and fauna.
I have been foraging all of my life. I was educated in England, however my family lived between London and mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, so I was forever dipping in rock pools, fishing around with a net scavenging rocky shores for shrimp and octopus, or at sea with my Father. He taught me to shoot in the pine forest on the mountain where we lived and nurtured my hunting and fishing instincts from mushrooming, to fly and deep-sea fishing. We travelled extensively worldwide as a family, exploring the wildlife everywhere we went. Safaris and tribal visits inspired me to undertake a degree in African Studies and Swahili, then my love of the sea took me back to do a degree in Aquatic Zoology, during the course of which, I moved to the Caribbean for my research. Upon graduating I remained in the Caribbean and pursued research towards a PhD in Chemical Ecology. I lived in Jamaica for 3 years, then Honduras for a year and a half, then I settled in Bermuda, running international marine education programs at university level, as well as teaching Marine Invertebrate Zoology and mentoring students, at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. After 6 years in Bermuda, I decided to pause my marine interests and pursue my other loves, all things food and drink related! I moved back to Honduras and opened a cocktail, wine and tapas bar, on stilts over the water, in a beautiful Caribbean bay. All these years in the Caribbean I continued my foraging, catching crabs and octopus by snorkel, and building fish-pots by hand from jungle sticks and setting them on the reef, then hauling them up to be surprised by what creatures were inside. I was spearfishing lobster and snapper diving on the reefs, learning about medicinal plants and fruits from the elderly locals and I was either deep-sea fishing, marlin trawling, hand-lining, drift or net fishing as often as the weather allowed. After 15 years in the Caribbean, I returned to the UK due to my Father becoming unwell. I moved to South Wales and now live in a small picturesque village steeped in history, surrounded by some of the best foraging territory to be found in the UK.
I have been foraging professionally throughout Monmouthshire for nearly 3 years now, running guided foraging courses and supplying Michelin starred restaurants, distilleries and speciality clients throughout the country.
I am also a wild food chef and consultant, offering spectacular foraged feasts and consultancy inspiration.