Exploring the World of Wild Mushrooms and Cooking with Hank Shaw

The World of Wild Mushrooms and Cooking with Hank Shaw

Foraging for wild mushrooms is a captivating journey that leads to discovering nature's bounty and culinary delights. One individual who has mastered the art of cooking wild mushrooms is Hank Shaw, a renowned chef, author, and foraging enthusiast. In a recent interview with North Spore co-founder Matt McInnis, Hank shared his insights on writing cookbooks, foraging for mushrooms, and his passion for wild foods.

A Conversation with Hank Shaw

During the interview, Hank Shaw delved into his background as a chef and cookbook author, emphasizing his focus on wild foods such as fish, game, edible plants, and, of course, mushrooms. His website, Hunt Gather Cook, serves as a hub for culinary inspiration and features a variety of tried and true mushroom recipes that showcase his expertise in cooking fungi and other wild ingredients.

Exploring the Foraging Landscape

Hank's foraging journey began in his teenage years in New Jersey, where he first encountered chicken of the woods and oyster mushrooms. Over the years, he expanded his foraging knowledge, spanning across multiple states in the US and even venturing into Canada and Mexico. While primarily self-taught, Hank acknowledges the importance of mentorship in the foraging community, highlighting the generosity of individuals who share their expertise and passion for wild foods.

The Evolution of a Forager to Cookbook Author

Transitioning from foraging and fishing as hobbies to founding Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and writing cookbooks was a natural progression for Hank. His initial venture into food writing served as an outlet from his career as a political reporter, ultimately leading him to embrace his passion for wild foods and culinary craftsmanship. With a wealth of experience as a writer, Hank emphasizes the importance of breaking down cookbook projects into manageable pieces and allowing creativity to flow.

Embracing the Lifelong Journey of Foraging

For both Matt McInnis and Hank Shaw, foraging for mushrooms symbolizes a lifelong journey filled with unexpected discoveries and a continuous quest for knowledge. Their shared experiences underscore the transformative power of connecting with nature through food and the joy of exploring the diverse flavors and textures of wild mushrooms.


Embark on your own culinary adventure with wild mushrooms and explore the rich tapestry of flavors that nature has to offer. Follow in the footsteps of foraging enthusiasts like Hank Shaw and embrace the thrill of discovering new ingredients and creating delicious dishes that celebrate the beauty of wild foods.

Join us in celebrating the magic of wild mushrooms and stay tuned for more insights and recipes from Hank Shaw. Let's continue to explore the wonders of nature's pantry and savor the delights of cooking with wild ingredients.

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