The 8th Annual Eagle Mushroom & Wild Food Festival will be held Friday August 21 through Sunday, August 23, 2015. As a prelude to the festival, six restaurants are offering special wild mushroom menu items from Friday, August 14 through Thursday, August 20 and throughout the festival weekend. A complete schedule of events can be found at eaglemushroomweekend.com.
Participating restaurants are Dusty Boot, Luigi’s Pasta House, Paradigms, Bowlmore Café, Grand Avenue Grill and the Metropolitan at Beaver Creek.
Eagle’s first Mushroom Festival was an invitation only event held in a private home. Those who attended learned to identify mushrooms and enjoyed eating fresh wild mushrooms at a specially prepared meal, including a crème brulee dessert featuring chanterelle mushrooms. Its success led to an expended weekend the following year with several speakers, foraging in our forests and a wine and mushroom dinner.
Mushroom Festivals appeal to individuals who are interested in expanding their knowledge and experience with wild food foraging according to Tom Boni, a festival organizer. Boni further said, “Foraging for wild mushrooms and plants satisfies a deep instinct and includes our senses to see, touch, smell and taste.”
The festival’s key purpose is education, which is critical in identifying, preparing and eating select edible wild mushrooms and plants. The Eagle Mushroom & Wild Food Festival has invited five notable speakers to impart their knowledge on mycology and wild plants: Eugenia Bone, author and lecturer; Larry Evans, the Indiana Jones of Mushroom Hunting; Ken Kassenbrock, CSU professor; Katrina Blair, author and wild food maven and Graham Steinruck, a forager and purveyor of wild food.
Attendees will learn how to identify a wide variety of edible mushrooms and wild food, including some of the more notable mushroom varieties like those in the Bolete family, which includes the highly prized King Bolete, aka, Porcini. Other popular varieties include Chanterelle, Hen of the Woods, Honeys and Hawkwings.
Steve Hampton, from The Metropolitan in Beaver Creek, is the festival’s special Guest Chef who will prepare wild mushroom tastings at the Sauté Bar on Saturday and Sunday from 5-6 p.m. hosted at the Dusty Boot.
For more information or to register to attend go to eaglemushroomweekend.com