Fine Cooking: What made you decide to start picking and cooking what many people dismiss as weeds?
Brill: My motivation was hunger. As a poor student in Queens, I was riding my bike past a park and noticed some Greek women gathering plants—grape leaves, as it turned out. I took some home and stuffed them. They were delicious. It was free food.
FC: We’re guessing that not everyone agrees that plants in public parks are free food.
Brill: Back in 1986, I was arrested for picking dandelions in Central Park by undercover park rangers…