Fungus Finding Gets Festive in Big Sur

A four-day festival leads fungi fans into the woodsy areas of the spectacular region, and to a few tempting tables, too.

Jim Pinckney

BECOMING TRAINED IN FORAGING? And knowing what exactly to look for as you roam a loamy, tree-laden location? You can do that, if you have the time and commitment and knowledge and a deep love of picking up an ancient and fascinating skill. But you can also dip into the delightful pastime, with a guide at the lead, by stopping by one of the Central Coast's most meal-tastic wintertime feast-arounds. It's the Big Sur Foragers Festival, which is about the gifts of the ground, yes, but also what talented chefs do with those gifts. As is tradition, this cold-weather conference will include foodies, Big Sur lovers, and mushroomies, the kind of adventurous eaters who are always on the lookout for the next great fungi-rich dish. The 2020 dates are coming up, so be in Big Sur from...

JAN. 16-19, 2020: If you know this deep-of-flavor get-together, you know that the Fungus Face-off at Big Sur River Inn is a savory centerpiece, but there are several happenings, including a Friday night dinner at Il Grillo in Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Wild Mushrooms Walks and Talk on Saturday the 18th. There are other Friday, Jan. 17 dinners to consider, like the one at beautiful Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. And at its fungus-fragrant heart? The festival helps to raise money for the Big Sur Health Center, which is the nicest part of all. It's a grub-golden Golden State gathering, one that finds fine fungus and some truly fine dining in the process.

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