Odd Produce has been providing some of Chicago's finest restaurants with locally sourced, farmed, and foraged produce since 2009. Mushrooms, microgreens, edible flowers, fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, spices, and more. You name it, we will find it. Everyday is a non-stop scavenger hunt for us.
Dave Odd grew up in Skokie Illinois, just a couple blocks away from a 13-acre nature park called Emily Oaks. He spent many of his summers catching frogs and turtles around the pond, and on fishing trips with his brother, he would run off to catch everything (except fish)--tadpoles, turtles, frogs, toads, caterpillars, snakes....he was absolutely fascinated and obsessed with the natural world. He also loved cooking and being in the kitchen, often improving on and out doing his mom's recipes. So when a friend's mother introduced him to the art of foraging it was a natural fit.
Dave foraged and hunted mushrooms as a hobby for years. When he was a struggling stand-up comedian he would sometimes have to resort to his knowledge of foraging to make dinner. In 2009 he stumbled across some chanterelle mushrooms on a nature walk with his girlfriend at the time, Kathryn. He roasted them on the side of the trail with some beef jerky. They decided that mushroom hunting was their new hobby.
A few weeks later, they were sick of eating mushrooms. So Dave took some surplus mushrooms to a farmers market and River Valley Ranch quickly snapped them up. So Dave would bring mushrooms to the farmers market almost every week and eventually one of the River Valley Ranch workers said he should try taking them to some restaurants.
Dave started making calls and knocking on doors, and finished out the 2009 mushroom season supplying several Chicago area restaurants with local wild mushrooms of several varieties.
When spring came around the following year, he started getting calls asking about ramps, and other wild edibles. Dave got to work researching and learning more and more wild edibles. Word of mouth spread fast, and before he knew it, he was supplying 40+ Chicago restaurants with wild foraged edibles.
Eventually Dave started bringing in mushrooms from the Pacific Northwest and scouring ethnic markets and the internet for unusual dried fruits, nuts, and spices to bring to chefs in the winter months. Then he began growing plants as well and networking with farmers and growers to expand the product line further.
Now Odd Produce has supplied over 200 Chicago area restaurants with over 500 ingredients, hundreds of wild products, and hundreds of greenhouse and garden products. Odd Produce is a one of a kind traveling farmers market and bazaar, always showing up with not just what the chef has ordered, but all kinds of weird and wild extras for chefs to pick and choose from. No one keeps Chicago chefs on their toes like Odd Produce.
Odd Produce has many reputable clients, including 42 Grams, 5 Rabbits, Acadia, Acre, Alinea, Allium - Four Seasons, Anteprima, Arami, Avec, Aviary, Azzura, Balena, Bang Bang Pie Shop, Bedford, Begyle, Bentley Tavern, Berkshire, Billy Sunday, Birchwood Kitchen, Bistro Bordeaux, Blackbird Restaurant, Boka, Bottlefork, Bow & Stern, Bread & Wine, Brindille, Brixton, Browntrout, Bryn Mawr Country Club, Carnivale, Carriage House, Celeste, Cellar Door Provisions, Cere’s Table, Chop Shop, City Winery, Cocello, Dill Pickle Food Co-op, Dry Hop Brewers, El Ideas, Elizabeth, Embeya,, Farmhouse, Farmhouse Evanston, Fat Rice, Feast & Imbibe, Fork, Fountainhead, Frontera Grill, Frontier, Girl & the Goat, Grace,, Graham Elliot Bistro, Green Grocer, Green Zebra, GT Fish & Oyster, Homestead, Hopleaf, Hot Chocolate, Jam, Joe Fish, Juno, Kai Zan, Knife & Tine, Kinmont, La Sirena, Le Bouchon, Little Goat, Local Root, Longman & Eagle, Lula Cafe, Market House, Maude’s, Moto, Nana, Nellcote, Next, NoMi, Old Town Refinery, Old Town Social,, Owen & Engine, Pear Tree Preserves, Perennial Virant, Pie-Eyed Pizzeria, Pipeworks, Pleasant House Bakery, Plenty Grocery & Deli, Pops For Champagne, Promontory, Publican, Purple Pig, Quay, Range, Rare Tea Cellar, Reno, River Valley, Rootstock, Rosebud Prime, Ruxbin, Schwa, Senza, Sepia, Small Bar, Spacca Napoli, Spertus Kosher Catering, Sunda, Sunday Dinner, Table Fifty Two, Table, Donkey and Stick, Takito,Taxim, Telegraph Wine Bar, Tete, The Bedford, The Bluebird, The Bristol, The Dawson, The Gage, The Monkey's Paw, The Peasantry, Three Aces, Trenchermen, Tru, Two, Untitled, Valley Lo, Vivo, Volo, Whiskey Trust, Wolfgang Puck’s, and Yusho.