Kyle and I couldn’t love our team at Birch and Barley more. They are one of the toughest, hardest working, talented kitchen teams in DC. They work their asses off 65+ hours a week and rather than lazing around on their days off they are out and about looking for good food. This past Monday Kyle and I took them on a foraging excursion in Virginia.
Our main goal was to find morel mushrooms. Alas no such luck but we did find all kinds of other edible goodies on our 3 hour trip. The sweet white flowers blooming from a black locust tree, mustard seeds, fawn mushrooms, young bamboo shoots and nettles. Our greatest find, however, was RAMPS! We found beautiful patches of plump ramps with the most beautiful greens I’ve ever seen. We gathered a few pounds and did our part to spread the love, planting a few of the harvested ramps in new spots during our hike.
And after the hike we had a BBQ, which featured our ramps in a beautiful potato salad. Kyle made Snapper Ceviche (one of my favorites) and I made my “famous” rice noodle salad, (Kyle’s favorite.) We were both really excited to taste everything our cooks made for the BBQ. A salad of Israeli Cous Cous, grilled clams and squid, (made by Tyler,) was super impressive. Then the cooks brought out cupcakes from Baked & Wired to celebrate my birthday early. See, our cooks are really the best! It was the perfect end to the perfect day.