WHO IS THOMAS?

Herb forager, chef, developer, entrepreneur, speaker, tv-chef, course organiser, event planner, ant-man, hunter … and teacher.

A chance meeting in 2011 with Trevor Moran, then deputy head at Noma, in many ways opened the doors for me and made it possible for me to turn my passion into my living. Trevor Moran was in charge of primary produce and products used by the innovative kitchen of the restaurant. I offered to sell him some mushrooms, and he asked if he could go with me when I went foraging in the forest. We headed towards Køge and a forest that was unfamiliar to me. In a stroke of luck, we found an abundance of black chanterelles. While walking, we also started talking, and Trevor Moran told me he felt somewhat under pressure, as Noma wanted to use insects. The inspiration came from the restaurant DOM in Sao Paolo after the first MAD symposium in Copenhagen. I told him that I knew of some ants he might like to taste, namely jet ants. I had used them for a few years to tease students at schools of home economics. He liked the idea, and later when the jet ants made their debut at Noma, my life changed radically. I went from being ‘a weird man rummaging around in the woods of Jutland’, to suddenly being able to live off the knowledge I had gathered since I was a child. Thus, I became the ant-man!

 

WILDFOODING

I have always cooked, I have always shared my knowledge, and I have always foraged wild plants – now I do it all combined in my own firm: Wildfooding.

Today I make my living by supplying some of the best restaurants with a wide variety of wild plants, e.g. mushrooms, berries and seaweed. I plan and facilitate events, do co-cooking, provide advice, and write about wild plants. I even appeared as TV chef, and am part of several projects. What used to be my hobby and lifelong passion is now my way of life.

Hunting is in my blood and I am always on the lookout for nature’s offerings of delicious food.

Many perceive me as a first mover, as part of a gastronomical movement. However, the truth is, I look to the past, I follow in the footsteps of our ancestors. That does not mean that I am not a product of my time. I gather and use wild ingredients to make delicious food, not for their healing or medical properties. I use the wild while it’s there, and when it’s at its best. I also stockpile by drying, pickling, salting, and fermenting, so I can enjoy the wild, even in the months where nature yields little to be found.

 

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