happy monday folks...a story from greg petrillo - our gm and partner - on the risks of foraging for mushrooms with chef little rob...!
I want to share a story with you about an adventure I had last week.
I am a Jersey boy, transplanted to the PNW about five years ago and amazed by the bounty of our region. The magic of sticking my hands in the sand and coming up with clams or dropping a trap over the side of the boat to harvest a Dungeness crab a few hours later is nothing short of fantastic!
With this wide-eyed enthusiasm I listened to Little Rob (one of our great chefs at the Skillet Diner) talking about foraging for chanterelles on the Olympic Peninsula. He had grown up doing this. Yes, he'd love to take me there one day. And so the plan was made, last week, Rob, my friend Bill from Bainbridge, and me. On the hunt for the great chanterelle.
Foraging began in rough terrain, partly logging area, partly pure wilderness. Rob moved lower on the mountain and Bill and I moved higher. Our success in finding chanterelles spurred us on to the next section of ferns, the next stand of trees.
And suddenly Bill and I realized we were separated from Rob and completely lost. We communicated via phone but could not hear each other yelling, blowing whistles, banging on trees - we were lost.
At 2:30, with the first sprinkles of rain and the prospect of ensuring darkness, Bill and I called 911. God bless those folks - they located us via GPS on the phone and gave us directions to the road. The sheriff met us and drove us back to the car, which was several miles away.
I come away from this experience with a renewed love for the region's natural richness but also a healthier respect for the risks of the wilderness. The chanterelles were delicious. But it was also very scary being so helpless in the forest.
I offer you all a link to the ten essentials that everyone should take in your backpack when going into the woods. I have upgraded mine and urge you to do the same. Enjoy the great seasonal specialties available to us. And be safe!
Greg Petrillo, GM/Partner