The coast of Northern California is renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty, thriving artist communities, and fine wines and cuisine. This journey to the seaside town of Mendocino with a professional chef celebrates all three! By day we'll explore the area's diverse ecosystems from lush redwood forests to rocky tidepools and learn about historical and contemporary wild foraging. In the evenings, chef Michael Neswald (assisted by Wonderlust chef Shane Blair) will share his culinary expertise by creating multi-course gourmet dinners of locally grown, foraged, and farmed ingredients, served at an idyllic location on an organic farm. Don't miss this unique and delicious opportunity to savor the delights of an iconic region! Our evening cooking demonstrations and meals will take place at Fortunate Farm, a family-owned, 100% organic farm committed to sustainable practices. The farm's forty acres of vegetables, cut flowers, pasture, and forest provide ample opportunities to enhance your understanding of horticulture, heirloom varieties, and carbon-reduction schemes; and also invite you to wander at leisure and drink in its peaceful ambience. Participants will stay at the historic Mendocino Hotel, a beautifully maintained and restored Victorian gem overlooking the coast and Mendocino Headlands. European-style rooms offer simple elegance rich with period details, while the hotel's central location is perfect both for exploring the town or quietly admiring a sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Price: $1400.00/person (based on double occupancy). Group size limit: 12
Includes lodging, food, transportation during the trip, and guide services throughout. Does not include airfare or other travel expenses.
Trip difficulty rating: 1 (Easy)
Daily excursions led by Wonderlust guide Sarah Drummond will include walking the South Coastal Trail at Fort Bragg and visiting the Noyo Marine Center, a non-profit agency dedicated to shoreline health and marine mammal rehabilitation. We'll wander secluded sandy beaches and scramble over rocky tidepools in hopes of spotting a rare abalone. Participants will also have the option of horseback riding on the beach and a kayak paddle up the Noyo River. Since our trip coincides with the regional Beer, Wine, and Mushroom Festival, we may take advantage of guided mushroom walks and fungi identification classes.
Join us for this incredible feast for the senses, the mind, and the palate!
Wild Foraging and Feasting on the Mendocino Coast
November 1 ~ 5, 2019
About your chef: Michael Neswald (above) grew up in California and currently lives in Portland, OR, where he enjoys the wild native ingredients, local farms, and beautiful vineyards of the Pacific Northwest. He has proudly worked under some of Portland's finest chefs, including Scott Ketterman of Crown Paella and Johanna Ware of Smallwares. With support from his mentors he trained further at Attica in Melbourne, Australia, as well as Michelin two-star Narisawa in Tokyo, Japan. He chefs on board a vintage charter boat for Pacific Catalyst during the summer, and is starting his own pop-up restaurant, called Foglark, in Portland.
Sources for stellar ingredients abound in the Mendocino area. Clockwise from top left: Fortunate Farm's produce stand; uni (sea urchins) harvested from Caspar Anchorage; wild boletes at Jughandle Reserve; chanterelles prepped for cooking; and candy cap mushroom ice cream at a local eatery.
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