Forage and Feast at Big Sur Foragers Festival

A weekend-long celebration of the bounty found along California’s Central Coast, the Big Sur Foragers Festival highlights great food prepared using the wild food foraged in Big Sur along with world-class wine and beer. The event takes place in January, as the middle of winter is peak mushroom time in California, and Big Sur is rich with it. The weekend will be filled with many activities including hikes, cooking competitions, and dinners prepared by chefs, both guests and from the festival’s partners, Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur and Post Ranch Inn.

On Friday and Sunday mornings, guests can participate in a hike to forage through the Post Ranch property followed by a three-course lunch featuring items found on the land accompanied by pairings of local wines. An intimate cocktail reception and presentation will be held on Friday night followed by a five-course tasting menu at Post Ranch Inn. Two “Wild Foraging Walk and Talk” hikes will take place during the day on Saturday. The afternoon brings back a popular event, the “Fungus Face-Off” where chefs from all along the Central Coast compete using chanterelles and other fungi.

On Saturday night, Chef Suzette Gresham from San Francisco’s Acquerello will join Chef Paul Corsentino to prepare the Grand Chef Dinner at Ventana Inn & Spa. The multi-course, wine-paired dinner costs $175 per person.

Part of the event’s proceeds go to benefit the Big Sur Health Center, the community’s non-profit health center. Guests can also purchase $5 raffle tickets for a chance at prizes including a four-night stay in Baja, Mexico, and stays at various hotels in Carmel and Monterey. Last year, Big Sur Foragers Festival raised more than $30,000 for the health center.

Big Sur Foragers Festival will take place on Jan 15-17. Tickets can be purchased here. Reservations for the Post Ranch foraging hike and cocktail reception can be made by calling 800-527-2200.