Mushroom hunting in the Vail Valley has long been a favourite summer pastime, but mushroom hunting via Mercedes … now, that’s a one-of-a-kind Four Seasons experience. Guests who want to enjoy a more luxurious version of mushroom foraging can sign up for the “Mercedes & Mushrooms” expeditions at Four Seasons Resort Vail, where they’ll be transported up the mountain in style for a fun day outing.
Hans Willimann, general manager of Four Seasons Resort Vail, grew up in Switzerland, where he learned from his father how to look for black morel mushrooms. He fondly remembers eating mushroom toast, topped with a mix of mushrooms, butter, bacon, heavy cream and a touch of cognac. “I’ve taken up mushroom hunting in Vail Valley as a personal hobby,” says Willimann. “Through these Mercedes & Mushrooms excursions, we hope to give our guests a unique, memorable experience.”
Expert mushroom forager Graham Steinruck, operator of Amateur Mycology, will lead the group in their hunt for the perfect specimens. First, Steinruck will give an overview of what types of mushrooms to look for, what to avoid, and how to properly pick and clean a mushroom. Then, the guests will board the Resort’s fleet of Mercedes SUVs en route to a scenic foraging destination.
After time spent discovering mushrooms ripe for picking, guests will toast a successful hunt with white wine chilled in a nearby creek. Sharing details of their fungus adventure, they will enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch before returning to the Resort.
For foodies, the highlight of the experience may be when the group reconvenes in the kitchen of Flame, the Resort’s signature restaurant. Executive Chef Jason Harrison will lead a culinary demonstration incorporating the freshly-picked mushrooms. Finally, the group will enjoy a delicious three-course dinner, with one or more of the courses featuring the mushrooms - perhaps chanterelles or king boletus - they picked on the excursion.
Based on the growing season, Mercedes & Mushrooms excursions will be offered only on the following dates: July 16, July 23, July 30 and August 6, 2011. This day trip will be from 10:00 am to approximately 3:00 pm, with a cooking lesson at 6:00 pm followed by dinner. There will be a cost, and space is limited to 10 people per outing.
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