Mezze Team Forages with Evan Strusinski

One beautiful Sunday afternoon in late October, members of the Allium Restaurant + Bar + Mezze Bistro + Bar crews went foraging with Maine’s Evan Strusinski in the hills of the northern Berkshires.

Recently featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine, Evan plucks grasses and fungi from the earth, boxes them up and delivers locally or FedExes them to chefs in NYC. He supplies about a dozen restaurants in Maine, but this year he’s expanded to Manhattan, including David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants and Vandaag, a northern European-focused restaurant in the East Village.

Conditions for foraging were close to perfect on our walk through the woods along the Green River and the outing was educational and inspiring. The group asked questions about every mushroom sighted and most of the time the ones identified were not edible due to toxicity or bitterness. What we took away from the experience is that foraging is definitely not for amateurs.

Allium Chef Chris Amendola posted his experience from the walk on ‘A Chef’s Journey.’ Thanks to Chris for the beautiful photos from the walk.

The Berkshire outing did not bear much fruit, so to speak, but Evan brought delicious wild mushrooms from Maine, where he drove from early that morning. Smart forager.

This spring we look forward to inviting Evan back for more roaming of our hillsides. Maybe the weekend of Berkshire Grown’s Farmed + Foraged event? If you’d like to join us, please leave us a comment below.