Celebrity Bartender

oneI’ll be the Celebrity Bartender at Echo Bistro and Wine Bar (865-602-2090) in Knoxville on Thursday, August 20, from 4:30 until 8:00. The Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge will receive half the mushroom appetizers (both bar and table service) sales and all of the bartender tips. I’ve donated all the mushrooms and made some great chanterelle vodka. I dried 1 1/2 pounds of fresh chanterelles to use in each fifth of vodka infusion. They soaked for two weeks. Great stuff!! I also created another surprise infusion that ought to generate a little excitement.

twoI’ve already tasted the morel pate with goat cheese and a ramp demi glace. Delicious! Below is the press release we are using. Come by and support he Free Medical Clinic which provides a wonderful service to so many.



threePress Release
For lovers of exotic mushroom fare, Echo Bistro and Wine Bar (865-602-2090) is the place to be on Thursday, August 20th. 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. Celebrity bartender, Anderson County Commissioner, and mushroom aficionado, Dr. Whitey Hitchcock will bring an assortment of morel, chanterelle, lobster and other personally foraged mushrooms to Echo to be transformed into a wild mushroom offering by Chef Seth Simmerman. The bar will feature Dr.Whitey’s chanterelle-infused libations, complete with Turkish apricot garnish. Half the mushroom sales and all of the bartender tips go to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge which serves surrounding counties as well as Anderson County.

Black Trumpet Adventure

Mystery3and4This all started last Friday, July 31. It had been relatively hot and dry, so I decided to go up on my favorite ridge top and see if our “mystery bolete” had come up, which it had. This is one I first discovered two years ago, and the Bessette’s needed some more dried specimens for DNA work.


photo 1Anyway, when I came out on the ridge top trail, I just happened to look down and spotted, by chance, a small patch of black trumpets. Most of them were drying out and crisping, and they formed a pattern of black areas that caught my eye. Some were still friable, and I got about 3 ounces, or abut a quart.


Trumpet PileYesterday, Aug 4, I went back on top and walked the trail, when lo and behold, there was another patch. I I found no others, so I headed off the trail and down to an open flat of upland hardwoods, headed home, when I saw the same pattern on the ground. Looking around, I spotted clumps of trumpets in various stages of freshness. After being on my hand knees for over and hour, I had this pile of trumpets from what I estimate was about a 1/4 acre patch.

T2 T4 T5 photo 2 photo 3Today, I went back to the patch to mark the boundaries for next year and look around for more. I found three more smaller patches, marked them,  and picked about half as much as yesterday – about a pound total. I learned several things. In a woods heavy with deer, the little black patches were easily confused with deer scat until I got closer. The nicer trumpets were in relatively shadier moister spots; edges of logs, next to a plant, fern, etc. In the open, they tended to be wilting and often lying flat, although they were moist to the touch.I checked out a lot of leaf clumps that were curling up and had grayish undersides. As the morning wore on, however, I got my search image synced with the surroundings and found several lone wolf singles on my way back to the truck.

I find few trumpets because of the way I search for mushrooms – looking outward and not down. Now I know where they are, however,I’ll be walking slow and looking down in this area which I frequent several times a week all year long.

In The Woods

sylvieThat’s where I’ve been the past two weeks, so now it’s time to catch up with a post. I had three private forays that were very successful in the variety and number of mushrooms the clients collected. Of course, I’ve been picking chanterelles, checking the lobster patch, enjoying my days in the woods despite the extreme heat and humidity.

Among the edibles found in the last two weeks Barnesare Chanterelles (many kinds), Chicken of the Woods, Lactarius (volemus, corrugis and hyrophoides, Purple Lacarria, Bicolor boletes, Sparassis, Fistulina (beefsteak), Black Trumpets and lobsters.


bicolor capsThere were also several mushrooms found that are interesting, especially. These are bicolor boletes that had the pileipellis (cuticle) eaten by deer. We watched one doing it in a patch of ferns.



GcyanGCThis Gyroporus cyanescens var cyanescens is the first one I have seen – ever. I believe that if I had rolled it around in my hands, I would have had a totally deep indigo bolete. A quite cool find.



L veridisI have only seen Lactarius atroviridis once, at an Oconee foray. This one we found in the Smokies, but several days later I found 4 or 5 in a group in my “close to the house” hunting ground. Oak-small beech mix.



TrumpetsI seldom find Black Trumpets, musch less on top of a ridge. But, the ridge is sandy. I was up there looking for the summer fruiting of my Mystery Bolete – next picture.



Myestery1Mystery2The Bessettes said they needed some whole specimens dried. I found 4 and they’re in the dryer.



LobHost1RbrevipesThe host for the lobster, at least in this patch, is Russula brevipes.





And of course, my favorite.