Rise of the Pandemic Era Forager
(Originally published in Spring 2022 issue of Edible Ojai & Ventura County)By Jess Starwood Once an outright necessity of humankind, foraging for one’s sustenance in the wild had taken a backseat to the commercial food system, fading into obscurity and lingering only in stories of past generations—all in favor of that which is fast, aesthetic… Continue reading
Tom Kha soup with Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
One of my most favorite soups but with chicken mushrooms in place of real chicken. 1 Tbsp. coconut oil1/2 onion sliced2 garlic cloves choppeda few Thai chiles, halved3 quarter-inch slices slices galangal root, or ginger1 lemongrass stalk pounded with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch long pieces2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste4… Continue reading
Jess Starwood is an established author, chef, herbalist and educator. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine and Holistic Nutrition. In 2021, she wrote and photographed her first book, Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying and Using More Than 25 Wild Fungi.
She also writes regularly for Edible Ojai & Ventura County, Edible San Fernando magazines and The Mycophile—the publication of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA).
Jess founded The Wild Path School where she teaches foraging, wild foods, herbalism and nature education classes for adults and children. She is a member of the Culinary Committee for NAMA and is on the board of directors for the Arizona Mushroom Society and the newsletter editor for the Los Angeles Mycological Society. She has also worked as a wild food consultant and forager for Michelin starred chefs Niki Nakayama and Aitor Zabala. Jess has been featured in National Geographic, The Guardian, and the Orange County Register.
Classes and workshops for adults and children are held regularly in the Greater Los Angeles area and west coast. Weekend and week-long wild food adventures are also occasionally available. Be sure to check out the event calendar or join the mailing list to be notified first of openings and availability.