The Tofino Gold Rush

I emerged from the bush, clothes soaked in rainwater and bug spray, pine needles poking out from the knit of my hat and wool sweater. I was a familiar sight these days, as hunting season has begun!

   

Over the years, we have slowly perfected the process. Hours have been spent scouring for “secret spots”, sourcing the perfect collection basket, and experimenting with various blades and brushes to find the most efficient combo. We have invested days, watching the weather for the ideal mix of sun and rain, all for the love of mushrooms.

For the first few weeks of the gold rush, people are generally tight-lipped. Early August, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the gentle hum of Excaliburs around town. Dehydrating is a popular way for pickers to preserve small batches to savour another day.

Not only are chanterelle mushrooms delicious, they are great for your health. Known to be a high source of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin D, they are also an appetizing excuse for fresh air and exercise.

Tofino is rich with wild foraging opportunities but the thrill of mushroom picking is by far, my favourite. I had the pleasure of sharing the woods last week with avid harvester and Executive Chef, Ian Riddick. Along for the adventure, came foodies Anita Stewart of ‘Food Day Canada’ and Julie Van Rosendaal of ‘Dinner With Julie’.

As we navigated around the moss and ferns in search of golden nuggets, Chef Riddick shared his knowledge of the local area and the delicacies that make their way from the forest to his kitchen. Prepare to taste many amazing, local, seasonal ingredients on his menu this season! 

Taste the local flavours of tofino
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