Heading out into nature where home comforts are far away is where the opportunity for wild cooking lies. Unlike ordinary dining, it blends together nature and the outdoors to provide a unique experience. Simple yet soul-stirring, it’s your chance to pack the essentials, wander into the wilderness, embrace the elements, find a front row seat to Mother Nature’s best shows and enjoy the moment. That’s what outdoor enthusiast and chef Tait Miller is all about.
The World of Wild Cooking
It all starts with the journey as you hunt for a remote spot to enjoy dinner with a view. Somewhere amongst the UKs beautiful wilderness lies untouched forests and the salty ocean air, ready to be discovered as the perfect picnic spot. Outdoor cooking is about an elevated experience, cooking in the middle of nowhere whilst enjoying the visceral connection you’ve forged with the land; the flavours, textures and scents of your creation. Whether you’ve headed out on a solo adventure or cooking up a feast with friends, these are the memories that make wild cooking and shoreline cheffing so epic and why we decided to make The Cooler in the first place.
Meet the Cooler Bag
Designed to be the perfect companion for all those seeking a culinary exploration in a hidden location, The Cooler Bag is made with remote picnics in mind. A rugged masterpiece that is tough and durable in a cube shape design, allowing you to transport your picnic to new places without compromising on comfort. And that’s not all...
The Best Wild Cooking spots in the UK:
Located in the remote northwest Highlands, Assynt offers stunning landscapes dotted with shimmering lochs and dramatic mountains. Find a quiet spot along Loch Assynt or lay out your picnic blanket amidst the otherworldly beauty of the Quinag mountain range.
Knoll Beach, Dorset
Nestled along the breathtaking coastline of Studland Bay, this is Dorset’s picnic paradise. A place of golden sands, crystal-clear waters and sweeping views of Old Harry Rocks. Soak up the sun, relish the sea breeze and whip up a feast of forged ingredients. Idyllic ambiance, the gentle crackle of an open fire and the approval from well-fed friends, will fill your soul.
St. Nectan's Glen, Cornwall
Tucked away in a secluded wooded valley, St. Nectan's Glen is a hidden gem that doubles up as the perfect spot for a remote picnic. Enjoy the sound of cascading waterfalls and the serene sounds of nature as you dine in the middle of this enchanting natural wonder, far away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
Bid adieu to the clamour of urban life and venture into the untamed frontiers of Fairy Pools, a secret spot found at the foot of the Cuillin Mountains and home to the most idyllic setting for a remote cook-up. Picture yourself nourishing your body and your soul as you marvel at the crystal-clear waters and vibrant hues of this truly fairy tale-like location.
Northumberland National Park
For those craving a wild cooking adventure amongst a backdrop of ancient castles and sweeping vistas, Northumberland National Park needs to be your next destination. From the haunting beauty of Hadrian's Wall to the quiet corners of the Cheviot Hills, you’ll find a hundred places to establish your kitchen, raise a bottle to the stunning scenery and embrace the feelings of a true explorer, in the wilds of England's borderlands.
Ranworth, Norfolk Broads
Sail away from the beaten path and find your own private patch of paradise in the wild waterways of the Norfolk Broads, where the labyrinthine of rivers and meadow-fringed lakes hide some of the most secluded spots, to drop anchor and indulge in a feast far away from it all. Where the chaos of modern life has been swapped for tranquil marshlands and the gentle rustle of reeds; picnic spots don’t come much more peaceful than this remote oasis.
Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales
Set within the incredibly captivating Yorkshire Dales National Park, Malham Cove is a natural amphitheatre made of limestone that serves up one of the most unique al fresco dining experiences. Where the cool mist of the cascading waterfall dances on your skin and the awe-inspiring rock formations ignite your sense of adventure, as you enjoy the flavours of your freshly prepared meal. This really is a place where gastronomy meets untamed beauty in ways you cannot replicate.
What to Pack
We recommend packing a sharpened chef’s knife and a durable cast-iron skillet to sear your ingredients over the flames. Fill your Cooler Bag with your chosen ingredients and an assortment of herbs and spices to allow you to create the same impact as home cooking, without compromising on flavour. Don’t forget the crockery and cutlery required to dine in your chosen spot!
Finally, let’s not neglect the need for a summer tipple – something to complement your wild creations: a chilled beer, crisp lager or delicate rosé. With the essentials all packed, you’re now ready to embark on an outdoor cooking adventure like no other, where each dish becomes a triumph and every moment is a memory made.
Chef Tait Miller's Wild Wrap
Tait Miller transformed the humble cauliflower and red cabbage, creating a wrap with smokey allure. With the wild landscape of Knoll Beach as the backdrop for this culinary delight, the flames of Tait’s open fire created an exquisite charred flavour to the cauliflower; rendered tender yet delightfully crisp, whilst the red cabbage adds a tangy sweetness to the earthy tones of Chipotle. Behold, the pièce de résistance: crumbled feta. Its creamy richness offers a counterbalance to the smokey heat.
This was a dish designed to enhance the experience of outdoor cooking, with Tait's creation acting as a testament to this unique way of taking ordinary ingredients and transforming them into extraordinary feasts.
Here's what you need to cook it:
(Recipe feeds 4 people)
4 flat breads
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 red cabbage
1/2 bunch coriander
3 smoked chipotle
1 red onion
2 tbsp fajita seasoning
Step 1: Start by roasting the cauliflower in a skillet using a little olive oil.
Step 2: Once browned add seasoning and place a lid on the pan then cook until soft.
Step 3: Finely chop the onion and marinate in the zest and juice of the lime and salt.
Step 4: Shave the red cabbage, cut the coriander and crumble the feta.
Step 5: Wrap it all up and enjoy!
A big thank you to Tait Miller for sharing his culinary secrets with us as well as taking The Cooler Bag on its first wild picnic adventure. To see more of Tait’s work and recipes, follow him at @taitmiller