Meet David Chang’s Weeds Dealer

Would like his mushrooms to weigh eight pounds exactly, please.
Would like his mushrooms to weigh eight pounds exactly, please.Photo: Patrick McMullan

The Wall Street Journal would like to introduce you to Evan Strusinski. He spends lots of time in the woods picking tiny herbs and looking for mushrooms, and hunting down sea grasses in swamps and bogs. In other words, dude’s a forager. People have been doing this for literally thousands of years, but Strusinski is different: Once he’s done plucking grasses and fungi from the earth, he boxes them up and FedExes them to chefs in the East Village. He is apparently very good at what he does. (He nurtures maitake mushrooms so they grow to Ssam Bar’s specifications.) His weeds are also in high demand: “I would kill to get his sea blythe and put it on as a garnish,” says Vandaag’s Phillip Kirschen-Clark. We’ve seen the rise of the celebrity chef, the celebrity brewer, and the celebrity butcher. Is this the beginning of the celebrity-forager craze? [WSJ]