The Local “Mushroom Man”
Farmer and Chef Asheville
November 1st, 2014
Alan Muskat, self-described Grand Poobah, has forged the first “forage -to-table” program in the U.S., educating people from all over the country as they join him on foraging tours. “We are located in the richest temperate ecosystem on earth,” says Muskat. And though you may not have run into him on his treks through our local field and forest, both his extensive knowledge — of wild foods and cooking, natural medicine ecology, folklore, and more — and his easy, spirited and comedic banter make a culinary scavenger hunt sound seductive.
Muskat has been featured on Bizarre Foods and other nationally syndicated cable networks, and his tours have been ranked as one of the five best travel experiences by Southern Living. By the time this writing has been published, he will have conducted a private forage-to-table tour and dinner for the visiting James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour hosted by Chef William Dissen at The Market Place and lectured at a speaking engagement at the U.S. Botanic Garden in DC.
Tours focus on safely identifying and cooking with mushrooms and other wild plants. You may end up gathering chicken of the woods or wild persimmons, fishing for trout, brewing sassafras root beer, or feasting on ramps and morels. Whatever’s out there in our Western North Carolina backyard is fair game.