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The mushroom maestro: North Bend man pens forager's cookbook

Snoqualmie Pass author Tim Leavitt, pictured with baby daughter Edith, has written a book on recipes for wild mushrooms, aimed at the newcomer to cooking with the flavorful fungi. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Snoqualmie Pass author Tim Leavitt, pictured with baby daughter Edith, has written a book on recipes for wild mushrooms, aimed at the newcomer to cooking with the flavorful fungi.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Author and mycologist Tim Leavitt’s new cookbook is for mushroom lovers, haters (or those unsure), and everyone in between.

The North Bend man penned “Cooking Wild Mushrooms (for People Who Don’t Like Mushrooms)” as a resource for foraging wild mushrooms. It includes various cooking techniques and more than two dozen recipes.

Leavitt holds a book signing, 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the Bindlestick in downtown Snoqualmie.

A mushroom picker and aficionado, Leavitt has a collection of rare mushroom books on display and a variety of dried mushrooms stashed around his kitchen year-round.

He says his project might be the first mushroom book to ever personify mushrooms and discuss them in true mycologist nomenclature.

Experienced with the knowledge of mushrooms from a young age, Leavitt began picking mushrooms with his father in Oregon around age 3. By the time he was 12, he was selling mushrooms to local grocery stores. He went on to become an employed mycologist in college, and worked in the University Herbarium at Central Washington University, drying and inventorying samples and identifying mushrooms for organizations like the United States Forest Service.

“I wrote the book because I was becoming tired of hearing people say that they did not know how to cook mushrooms, or that they just did not like them,” says Leavitt. “I really wanted people to like mushrooms! I wanted to provide people with an easily understood piece so that they could see how simple and enjoyable cooking with wild mushrooms can be. I also felt strongly that it was also about time that a certified mycologist wrote some tips; so I wrote the book over time, right as my daughter was born. She is featured throughout the book.”

The 120-page cookbook is available for purchase at Amazon.com and at Createspace.

 

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