For all my East Coast readers, I’m bringing The Mushroom Hunters back to the New York area in the first week of March. I’ll be giving slide presentations at three mycological societies in the Tri-state area: the New Jersey Mycological Association in Basking Ridge, New Jersey; the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association in Purchase, New York; and the New York Mycological Society in Manhattan.
If you’re a member of any of these organizations, I hope to see you there. If not, maybe this a good opportunity to think about joining one and delving more deeply into the kingdom of fungi. Becoming a member of a mycological society is the single best way to learn about edible mushrooms.
I’ll be showing slides and telling stories about the hidden economy of wild mushroom harvesting, from patch to plate—the pickers, buyers, chefs, and others who make up this little known wild food chain, with its echoes of the Gold Rush and free-wheeling frontier-style capitalism.
Here’s more information on my upcoming slide talks:
March 2, 1:30 p.m. New Jersey Mycological Association. Somerset County Environmental Education Center on Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, NJ.
March 4, 7:30 p.m. Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association. Friends Purchase Meeting House, Purchase, NY.
March 5, 6:30 p.m. New York Mycological Society. New York Horticultural Society, 148 West 37th, 13th floor, Manhattan.
Two pieces of good news: The Mushroom Hunters was just short-listed for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards (thank you local indies!), and my first TV interview will be broadcast on the PBS show Well Read. Admittedly, I didn’t sleep much before the interview (and I had a frog in my throat, the first cold of the season), but the 30-minute conversation flew by in a blink, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with host Terry Tazioli, who is smart, curious, and an all-around good guy.
I’ll be staying close to home through the remainder of 2013, with plenty of readings and slide talks planned for the Seattle area. If you’re curious about edible fungi or the hidden subculture of mushroom pickers and buyers, stop by one of these events:
The West is now home, but I never pass up a chance to revisit my childhood roots and plug into the electrical current that is New York City. On November 21, at 7 p.m., Slow Food NYC is hosting me for a slide presentation in Brooklyn, at Fitzcarraldo restaurant, and I guarantee a good time for all.
The picture above was snapped a few years ago from the inside of a wild mushroom delivery van as it hustled several hundred pounds of Oregon chanterelles from Newark International Airport to the finest restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can’t research North America’s fast-and-loose wild mushroom trade and not visit the most fabled eateries on the continent, where fungi have been elevated to a place among the top ingredients in a chef’s pantry. I write about my time in New York in a chapter titled “Ingredients as Art,” a phrase borrowed from Sam Sifton’s 4-star review of Del Posto in The New York Times. President Obama happened to be in town to light the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and Occupy Wall Street protesters had just been evicted from Zuccotti Park. As always, electricity was in the air.
If you’re in the New York area and you’re curious about the wild mushroom trail—and the colorful characters who make their living on this itinerant, informal circuit—then come on by, have a beer, and stay for the presentation. I’ll be showing slides and talking about the book.
Literature is sustenance—we all know that—so why not pair writers with dinner? Join me on Wednesday, April 27, at the Richard Hugo House for an evening of food and words with myself and three other Seattle writers. Food will be provided by Tom Douglas, Taylor Shellfish, and High 5 Pie.
Four courses, four readings. I’ll be shucking metaphorical oysters to accompany the real thing. The other courses include my wife, Martha Silano, who will read from her most recent poetry collections, Blue Positive and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception; Kevin Craft, author of Solar Prominence and editor of Poetry Northwest; and Kate Lebo, poet and pie-maker extraordinaire.
Buy your ticket now for this tasty event.