Fungal Feast 2010 — Thursday February 11, 2010

UPDATE: Our guest chef has been working with the LCC students Wednesday in preparation for the feast. Tickets have been selling steadily, but we anticipate that there may be a few left for purchase at the door. If you’re one of those spontaneous types, any remaining seats will be available for purchase at the event at 6:45 PM. You are all welcome to arrive around 6:45 to view the silent auction items and meet other CMS members and guests. The event will start at 7:00 and dinner will be served at 7:15.

The Cascade Mycological Society announces the 2010 Fungal Feast February 11, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Lane Community College’s Center for Meeting and Learning.

Tickets for the Fungal Feast are $25 for CMS members, $30 for non-members, and are available now online through Paypal or by calling 541-746-7548. This year wine and beer will be available for purchase at the dinner (LCC will accept cash and checks only, no credit cards).

You may sign up or renew your membership at the time of purchase and instantly receive the $5 discount. If you are already a member and choose the member price, please include the primary member’s name and/or email address to verify your membership status. You will be able to enter this information when checking out by clicking the link titled “Primary Member Name (for Member Price)”. You may purchase multiple tickets at one time by adding them to the cart. Members may buy multiple tickets at the member price. Tickets purchased online will not be physically mailed, but held at the door for the event.

The Cascade Mycological Society and the culinary arts program at Lane Community College are proud to announce this year’s Fungal Feast guest chef, Jack Czarnecki. Chef Czarnecki and his wife, Heidi, are regionally renowned for their restaurant, the Joel Palmer House Restaurant in Dayton, Oregon. Joel Palmer was the person responsible for the town’s design in 1848 and built the historic house which is currently the restaurant. A member of CMS, Chris Mellottii, has been to the Joel Palmer House Restaurant on two occasions and said that the meal and the experience of dining there were both delicious.

Recently, Jack and Heidi have retired and are in the next phase of their culinary adventures with their son continuing the restaurant’s fine dining tradition. The Czarnecki’s now produce Oregon white truffle oil, a true local gourmet product.

Chef Czarnecki has agreed to be our guest chef this year and lead the LCC culinary students in creating a fantastic fungal feast. This event is a true collaboration between Chef Czarnecki, the LCC culinary arts students, and the Cascade Mycological Society, which procures the mushrooms for the dinner. Chef Czarnecki will design the menu and spend a whole day teaching the students how to use Oregon wild fungi to create a delicious dining experience.

CMS & LCC Cooperative History


The Cascade Mycological Society (CMS) is a 501(c) 3 educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and appreciation of fungi. The founders of CMS were largely former students of renowned LCC biology instructor, Freeman Rowe. Freeman founded the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival. The Cascade Mycological Society was incorporated in 1999 and dedicated to providing for the continuation of Freeman Rowe’s legacy. His vision was to educate people about the wonders of fungi, especially the amazing ecological role fungi play in our Northwest forest systems. This year will be the 30th anniversary of the Festival.

Lane Community College has supported this educational effort by continuing to offer the “Biology of Mushrooms” course that Freeman pioneered, and by supporting CMS and the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival. LCC students continue to be involved in the collection, identification, display and education about fungi at this annual event.  Over four thousand people attended the 2009 Mushroom Festival and over 300 species of mushrooms were on display.

Culinary Arts

In addition to the efforts to educate the public about the science of mushrooms, CMS and LCC cooperate in producing the annual February Fungal Feast. Beginning in 2002 this event provided an educational experience for both the LCC culinary arts students and the diners. The students learn from a professional chef with experience using local mushrooms to produce wonderful meals. Members of the public who attend this event get to experience a new and interesting gourmet mushroom meal with several courses, as well as support both the LCC culinary arts program and the Cascade Mycological Society and its’ educational programs. Proceeds from the Fungal Feast support the CMS grant and scholarship programs as well as the Mushroom Festival and general educational programs.

Jack Czarnecki

Jack Czarnecki has appeared on about 35 television stations across the country including “Good Morning America” (two times), “The Home Show,” “Regis and Kathy Lee,” “the 60 Minute Gourmet,” “CBS Morning News,” and several cable features including three appearances on the Television Food Network, the Discovery channel, and QVC. In Pennsylvania, Jack hosted his own television show on Eastern Pennsylvania cable, “At the Table with Jack Czarnecki.”

Featured stories have appeared about Jack in virtually every metropolitan newspaper in the United States. There have also been numerous features in such papers as the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Star, USA Today, Nation’s Restaurant News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wine Spectator, San Francisco Examiner, and the Washington Post.

Magazines include half a dozen features in airline magazines, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Harrowsmith, The New York Times’ Sunday Magazine, People, and Town & Country among others. Radio appearances include National Public Radio, as well as shows in every major metropolitan market in the United States and Canada. Currently Jack hosts his own radio show, “At the Table with Jack Czarnecki,” the only food radio show in Oregon on KLYC-1260 Radio in Yamhill County.

His books include “Joe’s Book of Mushroom Cookery” (Atheneum, 1986, paperback, 1988), “A Cook’s Book of Mushrooms” (Artisan, 1995) which won the 1996 James Beard Award, and “Portobello Cookbook” (Artisan, 1997). Jack has also written articles for Cuisine Magazine, specialty food publications, and the British Journal of Wine. He has judged wine competitions nationally for over twenty years.

He is currently a director of Distinguished Restaurants of North America, a board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food, a founding member of the Society of American Cuisine, advisory Board Member of the Pennsylvania State University, former board member of Berks County Chamber of Commerce, former President of the Berks County Visitor’s Information Association, and a former director of the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts.

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