Our Teachers


Patrick Hamilton


Patrick Hamilton, known also as the “Mycochef,” has been mushroom foraging and cooking for over 40 years. He has been a corporate chef, executive chef, catering chef, guest chef at the Breitenbush mushroom gathering, a guest chef at Telluride Mushroom Festival,  chef for the Mycological Society of San Francisco, and for years he was the executive chef at the Sonoma County Mushroom Association Wild Mushroom Camp.  

He has an extensive background in wild mushroom foraging, identification, and preparation.  He writes a monthly column for the “SOMA News” and has been a food and mushroom columnist with several other publications for over 20 years.


Heidi Herrmann

Heidi Herrmann is a farmer and the owner of Strong Arm Farm in Santa Rosa, CA.  She teaches Native Plant Restoration at Sonoma State Univ. and Sustainable Agriculture at Santa Rosa Junior College.  Heidi is an avid seaweed harvester, and has been sustainably collecting and selling seaweed for over a decade. She sells her hand harvested seaweed to bay area chefs and retailers. 



Maya Elson

Maya is a teacher, naturalist, mycologist, organizer and lover of the wild. After falling in love with fungi, she has studied mushroom foraging over the last 14 years. She studied mushroom identification intensively at the Evergreen State College, and has been active in a number of different mycological societies. As one of the founding members of Radical Mycology, she’s worked on various fungal cultivation and educational projects, including founding Bay Area Applied Mycology. She is also the Executive Director of CoRenewal/Amazon Mycorenewal Project, where she works towards cleaning oil pollution with fungi and bacteria. Maya loves leading mushroom hunts, and the ways it helps us find our place within our ecological and human communities.




Todd Spanier

Todd is a third-generation Italian-American and one of the leading experts in mushrooms. Thanks to his grandfather, Ed Marcellini, who taught him the fine art of mushroom hunting when he was only five, Todd is now considered a pioneer of the sustainable and wild food movements in California. For over twenty-five years, his company, King of Mushrooms Ltd, has been a highly valued purveyor of wild foods for hundreds of local restaurants and businesses. See a video here



Kevin Feinstein

Kevin Feinstein (a.k.a. Feral Kevin) is an author, teacher, forager and naturalist residing in the Bay Area.  Author of The Bay Area Forager and Crash Course in Wild Mushroom Foraging, he has been leading wild food walks for ForageSF for over three years. With nearly a decade in the field overall, Kevin and his work have been featured in Time magazine, American Airlines In-Flight Magazine, SF Chronicle, The Travel Channel, KWMR, KPFA, The Examiner and several more. An avid gardener, nutritionist and self-proclaimed plant nerd, he loves receiving e-mails with pictures of plants that need to be identified.


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