Chanterelles  Maitake  Bolete  Cooking wild mushrooms

Hunting and Preparing Wild Mushrooms - Itinerary

Day 1: It's pretty, the ride up here, and it's not that long - barely three hours from Boston. If you have the day, you may want to make it a leisurely experience, drop by at "Beans" for a bargain on outdoor gear and then dip into nature: Popham Beach State Park and Reid State Park are both just a slight detour, less than an hour from us, and well worth the trip. Either way, try to check in at Le Vatout before dinner so we can match you up with a good restaurant as tonight's dinner is the only meal not included in this package. For example, you could take a stroll across the river to the village and discover The Narrows Tavern. There's live music almost every night during the season and it's a great place to grab a burger, have a beer and get to know the locals. Or take the short drive up to Round Pond and have a shellfish feast at the Muscongus Bay Lobster Company, right at the water's edge. For a real treat, we might suggest you drive the extra twenty minutes to South Rockland to experience Primo’s. It’s not inexpensive and during the season you will need a reservation, but the food’s sublime, superbly fresh and the desserts are out of this world.

reishi pictureDay 2: Breakfast is served between 8 and 9am. At 9:45 am David comes to Le Vatout to fetch you for your first day of foraging. Depending on the time of the year and the weather, you'll hike the nearby forests, woodlands, and meadows, looking for edible goodies. Break when the time feels right - a scrumptious box lunch provided by Le Vatout will restore you. Then continue hunting until app. 2:30pm. when David will bring you (and the goodies you found) back to Le Vatout. The rest of the day is yours to explore the gorgeous Midcoast.

Day 3: Again, breakfast is served between 8 and 9am and you’ll have an opportunity to put your new foraging skills to practice – with another fabulous box lunch served during your break. Once back, rest up, take a shower... and prepare to get your hands dirty again, because cleaning mushrooms is a hands-on job. Eating wild mushrooms, on the other hand, is well worth the effort… and that’s just what you’ll get to do with the help of David. Around 5pm he will rejoin you in Le Vatout's kitchen to give you an introduction to preparing mushrooms. A bit of a "celebrity chef", David has been serious about cooking since he was seven years old and worked in restaurants for almost twenty. He regards mushrooms like vegetables, with unique flavors and widely varying textures, colors, moisture content and water absorbency and he'll familiarize you with cooking techniques, suitable side dishes and wines. Your lesson will be topped off with a most delicious meal made from the bounty you collected with his help.

Day 4: Breakfast can take a leisurely pace today. Afterwards, take a last stroll through the garden and say good-bye Le Vatout. Check-out is by 11am, but don’t be sad: you will take home new skills, plenty of memories and a whole new repertoire to be added to your meals.

If you need more information or if you would like to make a reservation for a particular time, please email us or call Le Vatout at (207) 832-5150

What you'll find:

The mushroom species available depend on the time of the year and the weather and, obviously, we cannot guarantee them. That said, here's what you can safely expect to find:

June: Oyster Mushrooms (early June), Chanterelles (late June)
July: Chanterelles, assorted Boletes and others
August: Black Trumpets, Chanterelles, various Boletes, Chicken of the Woods and others
September: Maitake, King Boletes plus various other Boletes, Chicken of the Woods and others
October: Same as September plus Blewits

What to bring:

We suggest you pack comfortable, sturdy shoes, a hat and a jacket, and wear light, but muted colors so as not to attract insects. Plus insect repellant, a Swiss Army Knife, and a fanny pack or a vest with pockets. We can provide baskets. If you want to photograph the little beauties, bring a digital camera. David recommends a SLR or a moderately featured point and shoot camera (which is what he uses)

mushroom book

David's book, Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada (North Atlantic Books), is one of the best guides we've encountered. Written for the hunter and the cook, it's immensely practical, informative without being overwhelming, and has great pictures that make it easy to identify mushrooms. It will be available from David for purchase when you get here.

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Le Vatout | 218 Kaler's Corner | Waldoboro, ME 04572 | (207) 832-5150 | info@levatout.com

Member of the Waldoboro Business Association, the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Tourism Association,
the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and proud recipient of Maine's Environmental Leader Certificate

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