I have been in Foodjournalism for 15 Years. As a Foodcritic (for Zurich-based Newspaper Tages-Anzeiger) I have stood in many kitchens in gourmet restaurants. And there I have noticed, that vegetables are getting more important and that avantgarde chefs often use special parts of vegetables. For example Heinz Reitbauer, best austrian chef, who works with the stems of artichockes.

Standing in my own garden and earning a carrot, brought up a question for me: «Why am I throwing away half of it, meaning the green part.» Nobody could give me a satisfactory response. So I started to do some research and I decided to start a project around «Second Cuts» of vegetables. As in the same time I interviewed Fergus Henderson, father of «Nose to Tail», I got inspired to call my project «Leaf to Root». A name, which has become standard in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Leaf to Root was covered by many media in the first few months. So it soon became clear: There would be a potential for a book. I have found a publisher in no time (AT Verlag).

Through this intense research, I became even more fond of vegetables. Of the idea, that their potential is not fully known yet. So this is the reason, why I am continuing my reserach even after the book has been published. I here, on this blog, publish new recipes, new historical findings, new vegetable parts, which are sold on the market. My research is done worldwide – and still, also after weeks and months of spending in research, I am still curious of new vegetable parts, that are edible.

My newest finding? I have received a cookery book from 1914 from a german farmer. I opened it up and immediately landed on a recipe for fennel roots. Lucky me – these are moments, I truly love.


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Esther Kern on the market. (Fotografie: Jonas Weibel)