If it’s March, it’s Mushroom Festival Magic
The Mushroom Festival is one of the most exciting annual culinary events on South Africa’s foodie calendar each year. Driven by South Africa’s top chefs and restaurants, this SAMFA (The South African Mushroom Farmers Association) initiative, supported by the South African Chefs’ Association, aims to celebrate the delicious and versatile nature of fresh cultivated mushrooms. The festival is in its 6th year, and has grown from an initial 63 participating restaurants to a very successful 252 restaurants from all over the country in 2005. During the month of the festival, restaurants and their distinguished chefs set out to create unusual and exciting mushroom dishes and menus – a great way to illustrate the creativity of both the chef and of mushrooms.
Regional cook-offs, shopping centre events and chef and restaurant competitions are being planned throughout the month of March to ensure that there will be many interesting opportunities for South Africans to experience some of the fabulous dishes that can be made with mushrooms. Alfred Henry of The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa was the winner of the 2005 Chefs de Cuisine mushroom cooking competition, and his love for cooking with mushrooms is evident when he says: “They are so versatile – you can add just about any ingredient to mushrooms.”
The festival runs from 3 – 19 March in 2006, and fungi fans must also keep an eye and an ear open in their local media for exciting mushroom updates during March.