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Pacific Feast: A Cook's Guide To West Coast Foraging and Cuisine [Paperback]

Jennifer Hahn , Mac Smith

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Book Description

Oct. 27 2010
Once thought to be the stuff of back-to-the-landers, foraging has become a gourmet pastime, and there are a growing number of wild-food classes in which experts teach hungry folks how to spot the "food at our feet." Especially fortunate are those of us who live along the Pacific Coast, where the climate provides many a delicacy in our wild (and not so wild) spaces. The Wild Table shares expert advice on how to identify the good eats, harvest responsibly, and create delicious meals with your finds. Author Jennifer Hahn provides detailed field notes on more than 40 species, including where to find them, which parts are edible, and their best culinary uses. In addition to the delectable recipes from well-known coastal chefs, readers will also appreciate Hahn's intimate stories of reveling in nature's bounty and Mac Smith's lush identification photographs.

Frequently Bought Together

Pacific Feast: A Cook's Guide To West Coast Foraging and Cuisine + Pacific Coast Foraging Guide: 45 Wild Foods From Beach, Field, and Forest + Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants Of the Pacific Northwest
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.61

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About the Author

Jennifer Hahn has over twenty-five years of wilderness travel experience and is an expert sea kayaker. She has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from northern California to Canada and solo-kayaked from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Bellingham, Washington, over two springs and summers. She runs Elakah Kayak Expeditions and is the author of Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage. She relies on wild harvesting to keep her pack and kayak light, and lives in Bellingham, Washington. Ethnobotanist and photographer Mac Smith is a kayak guide and naturalist and has been teaching wild harvesting classes for more than 30 years.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to have, but few improvements would help May 21 2011
By Bobo - Published on
I love the idea of this book and I think the content is good too. It goes over a bit of each ingredient prior to digging into some recipes, which I think is a really good format and quite handy. It's really amazing what I walk by every day in the woods and beaches and don't know how tasty they could be.
My only complaint is the lack of pictures. In general, I think cookbooks without pictures aren't great. You really need an idea of what you're working towards. However, in this case, I think it is essential. Since we are foraging for unusual ingredients, there needs to be some more and better pictures (plus further explanations) on what each item looks like and where to find it, etc.
As it is, there is only a few pages in the middle full of 1 colour picture for each ingredient (and it's so sparse, I'm not sure it covers everything in the book).

Excellent reference to have on my shelf, but could be better.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foraging is a fusion of food and fun! March 6 2011
By m hansen - Published on
I found this book trough my interests in kayaking and cooking (well eating is more accurate)
The writing is inviting, intriguing, and tremendously informative while being very quick and straight forward. The harvesting and preparation is very well laid out and dissolves any difficulty like butter liquefying in a skillet. Practical, cultural, medical, historical nuggets are stirred in and add flavor and moisten the text and impressively do not side track the author or my reading of the book. With many of the plants coming into season at different times it looks easy to see what to watch for ripening next and read up on that. The recipes are not complicated and very enjoyable with many fun twists.

I also purchased the laminated foraging guide as it is suited to the weather here and is ready made for field work. This book is tremendously accessible, empowering, encouraging, a lot of fun and even healthy!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacific Feast not only a feast of food but a feast of essays Dec 13 2010
By Jeep - Published on
I just recieved a copy of Jennifer Hahn's Pacific Feast. while I live in the midwest and do not have easy access to some of the seaweeds, and kelp available in the northwest much of the vegetation can found through out the USA.

She takes the time to describe the different eatible weeds, berries, roses and mushrooms to name a few in great detail. She informs the reader where the species is native to and how it can be used.

Equally enjoyable are her short essays. While I looked forward to trying some of the recipes, I was capitvated by her essays. You can feel her engery and love of mother earth (and berries) while reading of her adventures in the wild. I found the short stories to be addicting reading one after another.

I would encourage everyone who has a love for the great outdoors to pick up a copy of Ms. Hahn's book and sit back for an enjoyable read and some great recipes from some Great Chefs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and functional hands on guide covers everything from wild-harvesting to slow-food cooking the bounty of the west coast Jan. 17 2012
By Alex McAlvay - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jam packed with wild edible wisdom, Jennifer Hahn's cookbook unfolds endless potential for a fulfilling and foodie connection with the wilds we often walk by. A forager long before the world's number one restaurant (Denmark's Noma) shook haute cuisine with innovative uses of wild edibles, Jenny has put her many years of expertise as a wildcrafting kayak guide and naturalist into this impressive and mouthwatering amuse bouche.
With recipes from top chefs up and down the Pacific Coast and eloquent descriptions of how to process your harvest you will stop scratching your head at your old "Wild Edible" field guide's passing reference to dandelion root as a coffee substitute, and dive into a divinely earthy Roasted Dandelion Root Ice Cream.
Beyond gastronomy this book is deeply empowering. Empowering those who hesitate to harvest a pristine porcini for fear it won't return next year she provides a research based section on sustainable wildcrafting methods. Empowering those who don't want to get their feet dirty she shows you what to do with the fruits of local fishermen or the cornucopia of the farmer's market. Finally she empowers those who do want to get their feet dirty to get them really, really dirty (how else are you going to make that Sea Urchin Gazpacho for Valentine's Day). She manages all of this with a wit and ebullience that stands defiant to the preachiness that often tunes us out to the raw beauty of direct contact with nature. Her prose will bring the tide onto your tongue and the tingle of nettles to your calf.

This book is a one of a kind mingling of gourmets and foragers that will please the palates of generations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacific Feast Dec 29 2011
By hland - Published on
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jennifer Hahn's book, Pacific Feast! I tried out several of the recipes in it when I worked as the naturalist at a summer camp in the San Juans this summer. (The chocolate sea pudding was a big hit!) This book has inspired me to integrate foraging practices into my daily life in order to pursue a healthier diet and a connection to my food and natural surroundings. The recipes are clear, simple, and un-intimidating to beginner cooks and foragers! I strongly recommend everybody treat themselves to this fabulous book - I guarantee it will be a treat to the mind and the tastebuds!

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