Wild morels are a real culinary delicacy belonging to the same fungus species as truffles so you know straight away that they’re pretty spectacular. They range in size from 5 to 10cm (2 to 4 inches) and their colour spans anywhere between buff to dark brown with darker morels offering the most robust earthy and nutty flavour. To savour their natural taste, people often saute morels in butter and add to a pasta or steak, taking a simple dish to the extraordinary with very little effort.
“It’s said that morels’ characteristic spongy, cone-shaped cap is reminiscent of hexagonal honeycomb but to me they look just like some of the coral species found in the beautiful Great Barrier Reef – only edible – it’s no wonder they’re referred to as the ‘dryland fish.’” Curtis. Their distinctive appearance is a big plus for those who flock to the woods each spring to forage for them.
We sourced these specialty mushrooms from the Northwest and threaded them through each of the nine courses - yep, even dessert. Our aim was for our guests to be delighted by the inclusion of morels in every dish, not drowning in them and by all reports, we found that fine balance - at times morels played the starring role but they’re also talented as the support act in a dish too. Morels were served up with spot prawns, wild seaweed, local goat’s milk, wild Californian flowers and herbs and plenty of spring produce at the peak of its season.
“If you hang out for months waiting for morel season to roll in just as I do, or if you haven’t tried them before, get your hands on morels in winter and become hooked on these spongy, meaty textured mushrooms (although maybe not too hooked, I’ve got to be honest, they’re pricy little things.)” Curtis.