Autumn is the the time many chefs look forward to the most. Well I know its my favourite time of year. Mushrooms come out, game hits the menus and a whole world of wild food and edible leaves comes into play.
Join us for a mushroom foraging tour in the Southern Highlands. You will learn about edible mushrooms, how to select/forage for them, prepare them and then eat them (washed down with a little local vino of course) Along with other wild leaves and whatever comes across our path in the state forest of Belanglo.
Schedule for the day:
ABOUT AAREON TEECE FROM STUDIO NEON
Studio Neon is run by chef Aaron Teece. His philosophy is simple: bring like-minded people together in an inspired yet relaxed setting, to share food, wine and to create a memorable experience. Aaron spent his childhood in the Northern Rivers near Byron Bay and spent the formative years of his career in Brisbane. But then London called and he traveled to expand his knowledge and build his career.
He worked as a Sous Chef at Harvey Nichols' 5th Floor Restaurant and later worked as a private chef. Aaron cooked for the likes of Lady Margaret Thatcher, Kate Moss and Keira Knightly and was lucky enough to cook for the Queen on a few occasions. But, as they say, there's no place like home, so he returned to Australia. He has since been seen in some of Sydney's finest establishments including Astral, Sean's Kitchen, EST., Felix and Manly Pavillion while in the process of searching for a venue that he could make his own.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable tour, foraging in the forest and getting to know what to pick and what not. As well as other wild herbs growing around. Highlight was picking up enormous saffron milk caps, was so satisfying! The tour has given me confidence to continue mushroom foraging in the future.
It was a really good day overall and we certainly enjoyed ourselves, however there are a few recommendations worthwhile noting to make it better for the next group moving through; 1. The time spent 'waiting around' for the mushie meal was far too long. We could have spent more time foraging, or alternatively, hanging out at Artemis later on. 2. The time spent at Artemis was far too short. We had less than 30 mins made available to us, which barely left time to go to the toilet and undertake a wine tasting. We didn't have time to order food, or simply relax. 3. There were two stops on the way to the forest (which mean there was a lot of standing around and waiting to get there) yet no official stops (toilet breaks) on the way back. It would have made more sense to schedule those stops in reverse, considering people had been drinking at the winery on the way back. We had to make an emergency pit stop on the way home on the side of the road for four girls to relieve themselves. Why did the bus not have a toilet? 4. We expected a little more knowledge sharing by the tour guide. He didn't really chat too much on the bus (aside from a brief introduction) and after years travelling (and experiencing many great tours) I would have thought this time would have been better utilised, and perhaps the perfect opportunity to talk about mushrooms; what we were looking for; some history or fun facts about the forest and what to expect. The chef who cooked the meal was awesome though, and spent time talking through mushies when we arrived. That part was great, and really enjoyable! Anyway, I really hope you don't take this feedback as negative, and you probably have very good answers that can respond to all of the above, however I'm a firm believer that all feedback is helpful. Thanks again for a great trip - we had a great time regardless!
Enjoyed the mushroom picking and the knowledge provided about what to pick and what to leave.