MSSF Culinary Blog

Fungi and Chocolate

Recently, I had the good fortune to attend a TASTEPROJECT event which featured a collaboration between Michael Recchuiti of Recchiuti Chocolates and Kyle Garrone of Far West Fungi. They created an amazing menu with combinations of various fungi grown by Far West as well as wild mushrooms and various types of chocolate made at Recchuiti. Each presentation came with a description of the fungus used, which chocolate was used and how the dish was conceived and created. We also enjoyed a tour of part of the Recchiuti factory and examples of each of the fungi used in the creations.

Just to tweak your imagination here are the menu items with a short description. We began with a Sea Bean (pickleweed) Salad with carmelized cacao nibs, apples, grapes and sea beans dressed with a chocolate mayonnaise. No mushrooms yet but a nice way to start. We moved on to a King Trumpet Tarte Tatin using mushrooms instead of apples with cocoa nibs in a puff pastry served with a chocolate-balsamic-caramel sauce and a Key Lime Apple (made of chocolate). We next had a Candy Cap Ice Cream Float which was made of candy cap mushrooms, chocolate and maple ice cream served with a garnish of St. George Spirits Candy Cap liqueur. I don’t think the liqueur will be on the market; they made it especially for Michael. After an intermission tour, we sampled Chanterelle Truffles which we had seen constructed on our tour. These were a ganache infused with oven-toasted Chanterelles and coated with Recchiuti’s “Hot Chocolate” blend. They were sensational . They will NOT be offered commercially, said Michael, as they are way too expensive to make. He used a large amount of chanterelles simmered for a very long time with cream to make the ganache. Onto the next offering: Reishi Truffles made of Reishi ganache on a layer of walnut-Fernet-Burnt Caramel paste, hand-dipped in milk chocolate and served with a Reishi tea. Last on the menu was a Shiitake Pot de Creme served with Shiitake butter toffee and a chocolate almond sponge cake. And we all went home with a half pint of candy cap chocolate ice cream. The experience was that wondrous combination of the unusual and the delicious. Elegant and creative. And, probably, a one-time offering. But let’s hope Michael and Kyle decide to do another collaboration. I’ll be watching for one.

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