Erica tells her stories

erica and stefano

Erica Wohldmann (EatingLA, HomeMade1616) tells her stories
As far back as I can remember, my mom, having grown up on a farm, grew herbs and vegetables for my sisters and I.  Sometimes she’d take us out on walks and forage greens from the ground, clovers and mustards, and slip them into our mouths. Plants shaped my childhood and built within me a deep connection to nature.

During graduate school, I started foraging mushrooms and berries in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  It felt like treasure hunting, and I seemed to have an eye for edibles.  Slowly, I began to study more empirically the impacts of our food choices on health, social justice, and the environment.  I realized my connection to nature through my love for edible and medicinal plants could have the potential to heal a lot of the problems we’ve created – we protect what we love – so I started working towards teaching people to love fresh food, which is pretty simple since, well, food is required to maintain life.

To me, coming together around food feels innately rewarding.  Whether it’s teaching people how to brew wild-harvested herbal beer that helps the medicine go down with joy, sharing food I urban foraged from the grocery store dumpster, or snacking with my students while pulling weeds from our campus community garden, I’m filled with the sense that my mission is being carried out.

something magical in the kitchen


Chef Stefano De Lorenzo of La Botte is going to help us cook up a recipe for revolutionizing LA’s food system on the panel at EatingLA. We’re so lucky to have him! Stefano grew up in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and began his restaurant career with Ristorante Il Meloncino at Lago Ghedina. He visited Los Angeles in 1995 and was instantly captivated by the splendor of Southern California. He hasn’t left since and has worked his way around various restaurants throughout our beautiful city.