Paul Baker emerged from a bush, holding two identical plants.

"Chickweed, and caustic weed," he said, confidently. "One tastes of cress and the other is a very bad idea to eat."

Wearing both the white, double-breasted coat of a chef and a gardener's apron, I'm not sure which half of his strange ensemble I trusted most. However, as head chef for the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Paul's ability to pluck herbs and edibles from the tens of thousands of plants in the public gardens was beyond doubt. This was his patch.

His passion for discovering new and unusual ingredients helped launch

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