Sunday 19 October 2008

The Restaurant Show: Mrs Tees

Mrs Tees

You know how when you learn a new word you are guaranteed to hear it non stop for next week or so. Coincidence is a strange thing. And I am sure there must be some sort of sociological mumbo jumbo to explain it.

It happened to me last week. On Monday Ed told me a story about how his Dad had just come back from a brilliant trip to a BnB in the New Forest. It's run by a brilliant woman called Mrs Tees who is one of the leading mycologists (and exotic mushroom supplier) in the country. She is the only person in the UK to have a license to forage for mushrooms in the New Forest. She's been to court several times and has won each and every time. Just google her. It's amazing! But it gets better. Her husband used to be Jimi Hendrix's manager. Never a dull moment.

Her BnB looks brilliant. It's completely built around mushrooms. You can attend mushroom seminars, go on mushroom masterclasses, walks and tours before coming back for a charming 3 course mushroom extravaganza. Awesome. Probably my idea of mini break heaven!

So, roll forward 24 hours. Jess and I were pottering around the restaurant show trying to find a chef to come up with some food pairings for Courvoisier. We were chatting about food and I told Jess the story in the paragraphs above. Just as I was talking about the mushroom seminars and 3 course mushroom dinner we stumbled across a stand selling mushrooms from the New Forest. Shock, of all shocks, there was Mrs Tees herself! A living legend!

We had a wonderful chat about all things fungal. I guess it's a bit like talking about football with Arsene Wenger! (Can you tell I'm writing this with Match of the Day on in the background?!) Mrs Tees told me a slightly strange story, which I almost certainly misunderstood, about how the best mushrooms grow by the road side because the enjoy feeding off the diesel fumes! I don't know that much about mushrooms... but I have met enough mcyologists to know that they are nothing if not brilliantly eccentric!

I can't wait to take Cowie to Mrs Tees's BnB. If it's anywhere near as charming as Mrs Tees is, we're in for a fungal treat!

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