Founder and Past President of the Vancouver Mycological Society.
Paul is a researcher, collector, and consultant, in forest mycology, toxicology, medicines, and identification.
If anyone knows wild mushrooms, it's Paul!
Paul will be identifying mushrooms from the day's forays at the Red Barn.
Paul is the #1 identifier of psychedelic mushrooms.
Larry is featured in the film Know Your Mushrooms by Ron Mann and referred to as the Indiana Jones of Mushrooms.
He is a fellow so at home in the forest that he does not mind being called feral.
He has been teaching classes and leading mushroom expeditions since 1980.
Larry missed last year's festival due to a previous engagement in Ecuador with the BBC and PBS Networks filming on witch doctors and wild mushrooms.
Daniel Winkler (Daniel will not be able to join us this year, but send his regards and will be back)
Daniel is the author of Field Guides to "Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest" and to "Edible Mushrooms of California" (Harbour Publishing 2011/2012).
He grew up collecting and eating wild mushrooms in the Alps and has been foraging for 15 years in the PNW and working as a mushroom educator and guide.
Daniel trained as a geographer and ecologist and works as a researcher and NGO consultant on environmental issues of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas.
With his travel agency MushRoaming LLC he is annually organizing and leading several mushroom focused eco-tours to Tibet, China, and the Amazon.
Tyson is a biologist from the Slocan Valley who specializes in forest mushrooms.
He studies the ecology of wild edible mushrooms harvested from the forests of British Columbia and has intimate knowledge of species found in the Kootenays.
He shares this knowledge with eager mycophiles through his reasearch and workshops.
Douglas lives in the Malakwa, he knows the area, he knows the woods, and he knows the mushrooms!
Douglas was a Friend of the Festival last year, helping eager hunters to find mushrooms during a year that they were particularly elusive.
This year we're happy to have him with us as an Official Guide.
George is a retired fighter pilot who has picked wild mushrooms for the commercial market.
George has been a part of our festival for years, he is our Wagon Master and All-Day Tour Co-ordinator, and is considered an honorary guide.
Peter and Ellen are the Founders of the Fungi Festival.
Peter will be missed, but we will do our best to continue his legacy with this amazing festival.
Paul Kroeger – is the Guide’s Guide, and is called on by the RCMP for his expertise identifying psychedelic fungi. Paul has discovered new mushrooms and has had them accepted by the world bodies, a process which takes as long as ten years. Just a short walk from his home, Paul was the first to identify the world’s deadliest mushroom growing in Vancouver, the European death cap. Paul teaches at universities but has never attended as a student. He is the main author of The Outer Spores – Mushrooms of Haida Gwaii.
Larry Evans – Larry is the star of Ron Mann’s documentary film ‘Know Your Mushrooms’. He’s been called the Indiana Jones of Mushrooms and is a man so at home in the woods that he doesn’t mind being called feral. He is even comfortable with witch doctors, missing the 2012 Fungi Festival to film with the BBC and PBS Networks in Ecuador. Larry has been leading expeditions since 1980 and has co-authored A Field Guide to Tropical Amazon Mushrooms. www.fungaljungal.org
Daniel Winkler – is the author of A Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, as well as A Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of California.
In Tibet, Daniel works with and studies what is locally know as Yartsa Gunbu, or caterpillar fungus. This fungi, which digests caterpillars from the inside out and then sends a fruiting body out through the head is highly prized for its aphrodisiacal properties. Where regular button mushrooms are valued around $4 per pound, and black truffles around $800 per pound, the value of caterpillar fungus is more on par with that of gold or diamonds at about $50,000 per pound.
The Fungi Festival offers mushroom meals and cooking classes for a full-flavoured fungal experience.
Lobster mushrooms, which are mildly flavoured, visually striking, and maintain a firm texture, are layered in vegetarian lasagnas. Chanterelles, which are rich in flavour, distinct in taste, and are often described as having a fruity and earthy aroma, have been considered a culinary delicacy since appearing on the tables of French nobility in the 1700s. The flavour compounds, which are fat-soluble, are featured in cream sauce and served over fresh schnitzels. These, and other seasonal BC mushroom finds such as Gypsy mushrooms and Pine mushrooms, are cooked into a smoked tomato chili allowing even the most timid taste tester a gourmet mushroom experience.
Empowering those interested in creating their own culinary wild mushroom experience, cooking classes are offered by Ellen Visser and Colin Cogswell.
Ellen Visser is the co-owner of Narrows Village and a Founder of the Fungi Festival in Sicamous. A tip from Ellen: “Sweat ‘em!”. Wild edible mushrooms are safest and most versatile to use in recipes if they are sliced and cooked first.
Ellen pictured right.
Chef Colin is a red seal chef and cooks for Narrows Village. A tip from Colin: “Don’t throw away your excess mushrooms, dry them and store them to add to your favourite soups and sauces throughout the winter.” Colin pictured at Narrows Village.
The philosophy of cooking at the Fungi Festival follows the principles of Rudolf Steiner, who may or may not be the grandfather of Festival Founder Peter Steiner. Rudolf believed that he who plants the grapes should make the wine, in our case it is those who pick the mushrooms should cook them.
Visit the Fungi Festival, September 23 to September 25, 2016 at the Red Barn Arts Center in Sicamous, British Columbia.