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Weekend Plans: 3 Reasons to Go to the Telluride Mushroom Festival

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Photo by Marc Shapiro, courtesy of the Telluride Mushroom Festival.
A scene from last year’s cook-off. Photo by Marc Shapiro, courtesy of the Telluride Mushroom Festival.

There’s no shortage of festivals in Telluride in the summer — in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a weekend to visit when there isn’t an event going on. While we will always love our Shakespeare in the Park, Blues + Brews and Jazz Fest, this year we’re particularly excited about the 35th Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival. Here’s why:

1. Forager’s Forays

Festival attendees have the opportunity to go on a guided foray each day to explore the fungi of the region with leading experts in the mycological (read: fungi) community. “Foraging at any location depends on the expertise of the foragers, and the foragers at the Telluride Festival are world-class,” says Larry Millman, mycologist and author. Telluride is known for its porcinis and apricot-flavored chanterelles, so get ready to up your culinary game. After each foray, visit the free public cooking station in Elks Park, where experts are standing by to offer prep advice and show you how to cook your finds. Butter, spices, clean cutting boards, and knives are maintained there for your use.

2. Chef’s Cook-off

Watch and sample as the pros compete for the best mushroom dish bragging rights. Last year’s competition saw innovative dishes like puffball pistachio ice cream, porcini pancakes with candycap whipped cream and the winner, a chanterelle custard tart. With chefs traveling from all over the world to take part, it might just be the best $10 donation you make this year.

3. Dinner at La Marmotte

La Marmotte is joining forces again this year with the Telluride Mushroom Festival to offer a gourmet dinner featuring special guests (such as keynote speaker and food journalist Eugenia Bone), four delicious courses of mushroom-centric dishes and wine pairings. Be ready to eat: Last year’s dinner wrapped up with a local peach crumble with a huckleberry and chanterelle ice cream.

If you go

Dates: August 13 – 16 with pre-conference workshops held on August 12th, 2015
Location: Telluride, Colorado. Main lectures are held at the Elks Lodge and the historic Sheridan Opera House. Other events are scattered throughout town.
Tickets: Tickets are being sold through EventBrite and can be found at telluridemushroomfest.org

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