This winter in Sonoma wine country, a celebration of foraged foods is taking place amongst restaurants, wineries and in the kitchens of local epicureans. While Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys may be better known for the wines they produce, the hills and forests of Sonoma County offer up a plethora of edible and delicious wild mushrooms.
Mushroom hunting was once a hobby only for "old timers" here in Sonoma County, but more recently an entirely new generation of foragers are flocking to Northern California for how-to classes on mushroom hunting, grand mushroom tasting menus, and an entire season of celebrating this native delicacy.
Just north of Farmhouse Inn, the town of Healdsburg showcased the wild bounty of Sonoma County with the Healdsburg Wild Mushroom Weekend, part of Healdsburg's Epicurean Winter. This seasonal event is lined up for aspiring mycologists and fans of foraged wild mushrooms including hunting expeditions, culinary classes, and fungi-centric Michelin star dinners.
Several wineries and Healdsburg restaurants have added special wild mushroom menu items for this event- try Barndiva's Rabbit Fricassee with roasted wild Chanterelles or pop into the Jimtown Store for foraged mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese. At the heart of Healdsburg's mushroom madness is Relish Culinary School's lineup of Wild Mushroom Forays and Demonstration Lunches with Chef and forager Elissa Rubin-Mahon.