4/19/2013 02:41:00 PM

Hunting Morels at The Mildred’s James Beard Dinner

Photo: Crystal Wang
Mike Santoro showed off his culinary skills to the James Beard House in NYC last night. James Beard dinners are a chance for chefs to impress with unique dishes or innovative serving ideas, and The Mildred chef came up with a good one for his dish of morels.

These prized mushrooms are found fresh the Northeast only during spring, and they must be carefully hunted, pulled out of the brush and separated from similar-looking “false morels,” which can be poisonous.

Santoro stuffed his batch with truffle mousse and pea, and then roasted them, before placing the mushrooms in a bed of grass. Diners plucked them out just like they were hunting in the wilderness (if the wilderness had fine silverware and silk tablecloths, that is). Cute.

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