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Tama Matsuoka Wong

Corporate lawyer turned professional forager and author of Foraged Flavor

TEDx Manhattan “How I Did Less and Ate Better, Thanks to Weeds”
  • About Tama Matsuoka Wong

    Tama Matsuoka Wong is the forager for Daniel, the flagship restaurant of renowned chef Daniel Boulud, in New York City, and she enjoys relationships with the Audubon Society and Slow Food. After more than 25 years as a financial services lawyer at Citibank and Merrill Lynch, Wong launched Meadows and More to connect experts in the field of meadow restoration, botany, and wildlife with people in the community. Her book Foraged Flavor was published in 2012 and is a seasonally organized field guide on cooking with foraged edibles. In 2016, she collaborated with Mads Refslund on the innovative, no-waste cookbook Scraps, Wilt & Weeds. 

    Wong has spoken at various venues, including the Museum of Natural History, James Beard House, Kansas City Public Library, Rainforest Alliance, Muhlenberg College, TedX Manhattan, Terroir Food Conference Toronto, Unilever, and branches of the Garden Club of America. She also has combined speaking with events, dinners, cocktails, and foraging tours.

    Tama Matsuoka Wong is a graduate of Brandeis University and Harvard Law School.

  • Speaking Topics

    Foraged Flavor: The New Culinary Trend Back to Ancient Ways

    Most people think that food needs to come in a package and that weeds are ugly plants we need to get rid of. In this eye-opening lecture, Tama Matsuoka Wong explains what foraging is, changing the way audiences think about weeds vs. food. She talks about how she began foraging ingredients for one of New York’s Michelin star chefs while illustrating the interconnectedness of food, nature, health, and the importance of wild plants in our landscapes.

    Changing Gears to a Second Career

    In this inspiring lecture, Tama Matsuoka Wong talks about her uncommon path from being a corporate lawyer in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York to becoming a professional forager in New Jersey. Wong looks at the skills she learned in the corporate world and how they translated to her “foodie” foraging business. It is an inspiring story about doing what you love, pursuing the things you find fascinating, and collaborating with others.

  • Video

  • Praise for Tama Matsuoka Wong

    Praise for Foraged Flavor

    Foraged Flavor is an unusual book in that it’s a joint effort between a forager (Wong) and a chef (Leroux), so in may ways, it provides the best of both worlds: information on the plants plus recipes that provide a sophisticated, culinary usage that go beyond teas and salads.


    Foraged Flavor isn’t just a collection of gourmet recipes for weeds and other unappreciated plants. . . . [It] matches the distinctive, variously nutty, tart, sour, hot, minty tastes of these wild herbs—for a weed, after all, is just a plant we don’t like—with their soul mates (ginger or mustard or pine nuts).

    The New York Times

    This is a charming and informative introduction to harvesting and cooking with wild plants in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way. Eddy Leroux's interesting and delicious recipes alone make the book a must-have.

    Daniel Patterson, chef-owner of Coi
  • Books by Tama Matsuoka Wong

  • Media About Tama Matsuoka Wong

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Tama Matsuoka Wong travels from Flemington, NJ

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