Catering to the upper-crust who want to enjoy a comfortable outdoor expedition to collect a gourmet prize, the Four Seasons Resort Vail in Colorado, for $200 per person, offers a mushroom hunting experience complete with SUV transportation, a mushroom expert guide, a wine and cheese lunch-time picnic, and a three-course mushroom-flourished meal at the hotel at day’s end.
Angelica Palladino, Food and Beverage Director at the hotel, explained: “We have gorgeous forests and mountains. We want the guests to get out there and experience the best in Colorado.”
There are 40 spots offered this year, and almost all have already been booked. What makes the hotel’s mushroom hunting expedition so unique is the fact that the guide, Larry Evans, is not only an expert in mushrooms; he is a former mycology professor at the University of Montana. With Evans watching over the foragers, there is no chance of a guest ingesting a potentially poisonous fungus which has tragically happened in some locations where foragers are not provided with proper expertise and guidance.
Along with the expertise and supervision of Evans, guests are further educated about the cleaning, handling and cooking of mushrooms by Executive Chef Jason Harrington, who allows the guests into the kitchen to have a look.
Mushroom foragers who have been on the expedition appreciate the safety precautions, expertise and gourmet food the Four Seasons Vail offers, claiming that the experience is wonderful as it is something they would never do on their own without expert help. There are already repeat visitors; Chef Harrington has already needed to vary his mushroom menu so that repeat foragers will not get bored with the culinary offerings.