… I’m Lisa Cutcliffe, foraging-guide-in-chief and all-round mushroom-nut here at Edulis. I’m based in Leeds, Yorkshire and I forage all over the UK. I teach foraging and wild food courses and I supply wild ingredients to demand when in season.
With a degree in biology, being a keen gardener and veg grower, and having a lifelong fascination with nature and wildlife, I’m interested in all aspects of wild food and medicinals – fruits, fungi, flowers, seeds, roots, barks, leaves. I love finding, cooking with, preserving and eating tasty and unusual ingredients and exploring the health benefits of the wealth of incredible wild species we can find right on our doorsteps.
I’ve been foraging for some wild foods since childhood and accrued a broad knowledge of British plants, trees, birds and butterflies from a young age, thanks to my awesome parents and grandparents. I remember asking and learning the name of every single plant in my grandmother’s garden, poring over bird and butterfly books for hours, picking heads of elderberries with my dad at the archery course for him to make a deep red wine with when I was five, snaffling blackberries from the hedgerows along the back track in our village on the way to the park, combing beaches for winkles and mussels and inhaling the unmistakable aroma of wild garlic that always filled the car while driving through the back lanes of South Wales on family holidays in May half-term.
I started studying edible wild mushrooms in earnest about 10 years ago when I found out from a cooking show that expensive and delicious porcini mushrooms (cep, Boletus edulis) grow in the UK and made it my mission to find one! It took a couple of years to find my first cep, during which time finding and identifying wild fungi had rapidly become an unquenchable passion for me. Gaining a broader knowledge of other wild foods and their benefits soon followed.
As of this autumn (2014) I have now found and tried 102 different species of edible fungi in the UK. I’m thoroughly enjoying this journey of discovery and love to share my knowledge with others. I’m also an admin on a popular fungi forum here on FB (Mushroom foraging United Kingdom).
I believe in sustainable and responsible foraging, never taking everything, always leaving some to complete its life cycle and for other wildlife. I’m also keen to instill due caution and respect when learning to identify wild species, especially where it is being gathered for consumption. We mustn’t try to run before we can walk… that’s when mistakes can happen and cause serious injury or even fatality. Check, double-check and then check again… and *never* eat any mushroom (or anything) unless you are 100% sure of its identity and that it is edible.
I hope you enjoy my page and seeing all the wonderful things I find to show you from my foraging adventures around the UK and that you will join me on a foraging course someday soon!
Please do say hello and give me any feedback or comments. And do message me if you’re interested in booking me for private or bespoke foraging tuition and we can discuss options and pricing, depending where you are in the country and how many people might like to join in.
Foraging guide and wild-food-muncher, Edulis