22 Nov 2009

December Big Picture

Seared beef on Yorkshire Puddings with horseradish cream.

1 Nov 2009

Fungus Forray

This cold, wet time of year always reminds me of the time when head chef David and I took part in a "forray" at River Cottage headquarters.

Fuelled by our passion for food and intrigued by the idea of foraging for our own ingredients we found ourselves heading down to deepest Dorset at 5.30am on one very brisk November morning. Like ten or so other eager foodies, we were hoping to tap the expertise of John Wright, Ricer Cottage's  resident mycologist and wild food expert. We spent the most wonderful day foraging and, under the guidance of an incredible teacher, amassed the most incredible collection of mushrooms during our "forray".

After a delicious lunch, we endeavoured to identify our finds but this proved to be much more difficult than we ever imagined! Chanterelle, Cep, Velvet Shank, Horn of Plenty, Amethyst Deceiver, Giant Puffball, the Death Cap and the Destroying Angel... the more we learnt, the more we became aware that foraging is both an art form and an incredible risk.

Whilst we will definitely continue to buy our mushrooms from the market every morning, I would thoroughly recommend a course at River Cottage - great fun, well organised and worth the drive. Click here to view their courses.