Nick Gonring

Member Culinary Specialist

"Growing up in the Midwest meant we had four distinct seasons and only a sliver of the calendar seemed to be summer. Throughout these seasonal changes, we were blessed with a variety of fruits and vegetables. One of my first jobs as a kid was working on a strawberry farm picking flats from when the morning dew glistened on the fields until the sun was overhead midday beating down upon me. I grew an appreciation for hard work and loved to see the fruits of my labor being sold at farmers’ markets, knowing I had a hand in it. Towards the end of the season, my family would make preserves, seemingly to keep the spirit of my efforts alive and to pay homage to the strawberry. Still to this day, if I close my eyes and enjoy a fresh strawberry, I can teleport back to the fields in Wisconsin. Transitioning to spring meant it was time to forage. I learned early how to hunt morels, ramps, fiddleheads, watercress, and pheasantback mushrooms. One of my fondest memories, were morels cooked in butter between two pieces of toasted white bread. As much as I was proud of my bounties, the best satisfaction was sharing a meal with family and friends created from what the harvest provided. After all, to harvest is to gather and it’s in these moments that food gathers people."