Frances Wilson, Culinary Instructor, featuring Far West Fungi

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

Stop by the CUESA Classroom for a cooking demo featuring the seasonal bounty of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. This demo will highlight a farmer-chef relationship forged and sustained at the farmers market, featuring Far West Fungi.

Frances Wilson can’t remember a time when her life did not revolve around food, first learning to cook as a child with her mother, and then professionally as both a chef and a teacher. Her career began when she trained as a high school teacher of Home Economics in her native Ireland. She moved to Berkeley, California in 1999 and worked as the Executive Chef of the award-winning Lalime’s Restaurant for 10 years. This was followed by four years as Culinary Director at Château Routas in Provence, France, where she was responsible for catering to guests staying at the chateau, and for conducting cooking classes.

She has taught cooking classes all over the Bay Area, including at Copia, The Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa. For the past ten years she was the Culinary Instructor at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, responsible for teaching the Professional Culinary Course, as well as specialty weekend classes. She is passionate about teaching people how to cook real food with great local ingredients. In addition to teaching hands-on classes at CUESA, she teaches at Silverado Cooking School in Napa.

John’s Garrone’s involvement with mushrooms began in 1977 while working for the City of San Francisco on the Police Officers’ Association Gym in Hunter’s Point shipyard. There he met a man who grew mushrooms, with whom he eventually became partners in a business called Miracle Mushrooms. In 1987, John and Toby partnered with Jim Hammond, who started Hazel Dell Mushrooms in his garage in 1980. By 1990, consumer demand for exotic mushrooms necessitated a move out of the garage, and the business relocated into a decommissioned White Button cultivation facility in Moss Landing. That facility is now home to Far West FungiMoss Landing’s coastal fog creates a perfect growing climate for mushrooms—temperatures are low and air moist throughout most of the year. Skilled care and attention are given to their mushrooms when growing, harvesting, grading, and packing. John and Toby use a balance of modern and traditional growing techniques to maintain quality mushrooms while ensuring minimal impact on the environment. Mushrooms are grown on bran and red oak sawdust from a local wood fibers company.

All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.