Telluride Mushroom Festival: Culinary Events

Telluride Mushroom Festival: Culinary Events

Shroomfest BannerDid you know that mushrooms are the richest non-animal food source of Vitamin D, and chanterelles, which grow in the Telluride region, are among the species containing the highest levels (also maitake and morel)? Plus they taste good. How good?

The Telluride Mushroom Festival (TMF) is excited to announce a few exciting culinary events taking place over Festival weekend, August 15-18, 2013, which also offers presentations and workshops on all things mycological including identification, cultivation, medicine and food.

Fungi Farm to Table Celebration:

First up is a fundraiser billed as “A Fungi Farm to Table Celebration.” On Wednesday, August 14, Chef Blakely Stein of Lady Love Food hosts an intimate celebration of local, seasonal foods and cocktails. Guests get to enjoy an exclusive edible and medicinal mushroom tastings, a cooking demonstration, cocktail hour with appetizers, and a  farm-to-table mushroom dinner also featuring local libations and live music. Advanced registration at is required as space is very limited. Tickets are $100 per person.

Chef’s Cook Off Street Party:

Due to its overwhelming popularity, the event has been moved from the Wilkinson Public Library to the street, where the action takes place on Friday August 16, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. (The exact location is Pine Street between San Juan and Pacific Avenues adjacent to the library’s patio.)

The whole point of the competition in which chefs drum up magical mushroom dishes and compete for the People’s Choice Award, the Judge’s Choice Award, and the coveted Chef’s Toque, is over the top fun. The idea is to capture a vibe similar to KOTOfm’s end-of-ski-season Pink Flamingo street dance, so there will be music by Scott Cossu and friends (one of the “friends” is Scott Doser, the library’s adult program director extraordinaire), as well as by the newly formed Telluride Town Band. Mushroom-infused beer brewed, created by Mushroom Fest returning guest Tradd Cotter in collaboration between Smugglers Brewpub, will be on tap for cook-off attendees to enjoy ($6/cup). Telluride Theatre’s Tom Shane is the MC.

The featured chefs hail from all over the country and past winners have returned to defend their titles and last year’s runner-up, Olga Cotter (with husband Tradd as sous chef) is gunning for 1st place. Competing chefs include:

1. Erika Woldmann (California)

2. Olga Cotter (Runner-up from 2012, from South Carolina)

3. Lewis Williams (2011 winner)

4. Alfredo Savinelli (New Mexico)

5. Blakely Stein (Part time local, also lives in Costa Rica)

6. Graham Steinruck (Denver)

7. Jason Cortlund (British Columbia)

8. Ben Steenblick (local and 2010 winner)

9. Willoughby Arevalo

The panel of judges includes:

1. Honga Im
2. Lisa Dahl
3. Chef Bud
4. Eugenia Bone
5. Scott Mueller
6. Jeff Mertens
7. Marla Meredith

Criteria for judging the winners are flavor, presentation and creativity. The cook off begins at noon. Tasting and judging is scheduled for 1 – 1:30 p.m. The winners are announced at 1:30, just before the music and dancing begins.

Tickets to the event are FREE! However, would-be attendees must pick up tickets at the front desk of the library. Stop by soon! They are going fast. A ticket ensures that guests get to taste dishes from all three chefs in the station designated on your ticket. Attendees to the cook-off use their tickets to vote on their favorite chef dish within their station.

Beer & Cheese Pairing at Smugglers Brewpub

Same day, August 16, Smuggler’s Brewpub hosts an artisan “Beer & Cheese Pairing” featuring Jackie Rebideau. Rebideau, a cheesemaker and founder of the Colorado Cheese Festival, plans to pair gourmet cheeses with Smugglers Brewpub’s immune-boosting myco- infused brews, produced in partnership between with Tradd Cotter and the Mushroom Festival.

Tickets for this event are available during the festival at the box office and cost $25 for non-festival pass holders. It is free for passholders, but advanced registration is required for all.

Vibrant Living Cooking Class:

On Sunday, August 18, at 12:30 p.m., the Telluride Mushroom Festival offers a “Vibrant Living Cooking Class” with Chef Blakely Stein. The course is a rare opportunity to learn how to cook wholesome gourmet food. Classically trained at The French Culinary Institute, Stein offers healing through delicious food. Stein emphasizes the importance of becoming present through whole living foods by teaching quick and easy recipes that are nutritionally and spiritually charged.

Tickets are $45, which includes a full meal. Seating for this event is very limited, so register now at

In general:

Telluride Mushroom Festival Passes are on sale now and selling quickly. Full passes cost $160 and are available at

Tickets to individual events will be available during the festival at the Palm Theater Box Office for $10-$20.

For festival information, please go to or email with questions.


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