When René Redzepi says he’s got some exciting initiatives, we listen.

By Kate Krader
Updated May 23, 2017
Rene Redzepi
Credit: © Peter Brinch

“Dear Friends,” begins the announcement from René Redzepi and his nonprofit MAD organization. “We’ve been rather quiet over the past 12 months. Not that we’ve been sitting idle, on the contrary, we’ve been fast at work on some exciting new initiatives.”

When René Redzepi says he’s got some exciting initiatives, I am listening. After all, he’s the most influential chef in the world.

He’s also the world’s most influential forager. Which brings us to his brilliant new concept, Wild Food www.vildmad.dk (the Danish name, VILD MAD, is wonderful). It takes people right into the chef’s foraging universe. The entire program is free: All you need is internet access.

Wild Food has three components: Parts one and two are Denmark-focused and/or for anyone lucky enough to be fluent in Danish. The first part is a program for Danish school kids, that teaches them to explore the local landscape, tasting all the cool edible things around them. "Why isn't this something kids learn about in school, at the same time that they are taught mathematics and grammar?” asks Redzepi. “I would love to see the next generations have the tools and knowhow to read the landscape, find delicious, nutritious food and forage it sustainably."

The second part is a Wild Food School for Danes. Rangers will lead groups on a Redzepi-inspired tour, finding roots that taste like cinnamon, tracking down wild garlic and id-ing edible mushrooms. Added benefit: Participants will get Redzepi’s best cooking tips.

And then there’s Part Three, for those of us not in Denmark. Wild Food is creating a deep database for plants and wild foods, with all kinds of pictures and intel. There’s an ‘edibility map’ and more of Redzepi’s tips for sustainability and food. “It's crucial for all of us to learn about the edible landscape,” says Redzepi. “It gives us a unique understanding of how we're a part of a larger ecosystem; I believe we're a step closer to this when we consume our landscape.” #vildmad !!!!

For more intel, check out Redzepi’s amazing Wild Food website: www.vildmad.dk