episode 05: Alan Bergo

Alan Bergo is a chef from Minnesota, trained in fine European cooking, foraging and… finding tasty Sichuan pepper leaves in the Midwest.

That is how I found him and his fascinating blog “Forager | Chef”, and he was nice enough to go into this far-ranging conversation with me.


  • Kinome (young Zanthoxylum shoots) as the greatest gift and potential for the Mount Olympus of restaurants – and a taste that’s like implanting alien software into an Earth computer
  • The overlooked possibilities of using plant parts (squash vines, tree leaves) that are not the easiest to bring to market, no longer even recognized as foods
  • The rollercoaster of flavor and spice that can be introduced (even to Midwesterners) as Sichuan pepper steak
  • Prickly ash bitters used to be a thing!
  • Why wine is responsible for the absence of spiciness in fine dining

Further Reading / Links:

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