Touring & Tasting
January 23, 2013 | MIscellaneous Wine Fun! , Wine Country Travel | Touring & Tasting

Wild Mushroom Foray and Demonstration Lunch

Take a step back to a different time when meat was eaten the day it was hunted, vegetables came from family gardens, and mushrooms were foraged from the forests. It was simpler time, a slower pace of life. The food was fresh, and words like “local” and “sustainable” were just part of day-to-day living. Now, amateur to expert chefs can experience this bygone era by taking part in foraging and cooking lessons, like the one by Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg, California.

On a chilly January morning, Elissa Rubon-Mahon and Donna del Rey – owner of Relish Culinary Adventures – took a group into the scenic hills of the Alexander Valley to learn the art of wild mushroom foraging. The group was taught how to differentiate between the many varieties of wild mushrooms, and how to pick out which to eat and which to leave in the forest.

Alexander Valley View

Alexander Valley View

Donna and Elissa's Instructions

Instructions given by Forager & Chef, Elissa Rubon-Mahon, and Donna del Rey,
owner of Relish Culinary Adventures

first mushroom found

First Mushroom Found

total mushrooms found

ALL the mushrooms found!

Once their lesson was over, the group returned to Healdsburg for a cooking demonstration and wine pairing. On the menu for lunch, there was flatbread with porcini powder and parmesan with Prosecco with Figcello Cocktails; corn flour blinis with sautéed wild mushrooms (Yellow Foot and Hedgehog mushrooms with Murphy-Goode Fume Blanc); and braised pork with herbs, garlic and wild rice with black trumpet mushrooms and kale with Aldrich Browne Syrah. For dessert, candy cap mushrooms and dried cherry bread pudding with maple whipped cream displayed the versatility of the fungus that is more often used in savory dishes than sweet.

cooking instruction

Cooking Instruction by Forager & Chef, Elissa Rubon-Mahon


Events like Donna and Elissa’s class not only teach guests how to forage for themselves, but also how to use what they forage in a gourmet, appetizing way. With the right skills, wild mushrooms can transform from dirt-covered fungi into decadent bursts of flavor in any plate.

For other culinary experiences by Relish Culinary Adventures, please visit:


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