Shifting with the seasons: Saskatoon's Hollows Restaurant gives diners a wild experience

Take a look at the dandelions in your backyard or those wild plants growing along the edges of buildings. To most of us, they’re unwanted guests or splashes of green and yellow in the urban environment. To Christie Peters, Executive Chef of The Hollows Restaurant in Saskatoon, they’re the main ingredients in that night’s specials.

Located in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood, the Hollows Restaurant treats diners to a menu that changes with the seasons. Ingredients come from nearby herb gardens, jars of pickled vegetables stored in the basement, or from local farms that share Peters’ love of ethically raised food.

According to Peters, her menu inspirations come from “mapping the seasons and ingredients of our time and place.” In practice, that means many of the ingredients are harvested from the wild, such as elm seeds, caragana flowers and dandelions (not just the greens but the flowers as well, which have “the texture of tiny bits of cod” when fried). Of course, oysters, steelhead trout and beef striploin make it onto the menu as well.

In the kitchen, the staff is scrupulous about reducing waste. Food is cured, brined and smoked to ensure that nothing is thrown out unnecessarily. Everything else is composted. At the end of a given week, The Hollows produces no more than a small grocery bag of waste. Think about that next time you’re taking the trash out.

Check out Tourism Saskatchewan’s video to see how Chef Peters makes her signature dandelion tempura. Don’t be disappointed if it’s not on the menu when you visit –The Hollows will have something else just as delicious and unexpected.

Tags: Saskatoon