Alan Muskat, philosoforager, stand-up mycomedian, and epicure of the obscure, has been going “out to eat” for nearly twenty years. He founded the first forage-to-table program in the United States and the first wild foods market in North America. Author of Wild Mushrooms: A Taste of Enchantment, he has popped up on The Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, The History Channel, PBS, CBS, and in The New Yorker, Southern Living, and Country Living. He's even preached on Voice of America, ardently urging the masses to sample rather than trample the toadstools. “What do you have to lose?” asks Muskat. “Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you famous.”
Muskat really knows how to pick ’em. For close to two decades, he sold hundreds of pounds of wild foods a year to over fifty restaurants and hotels, including The Biltmore Estate, Lantern, and The Grove Park Inn. Last fall, he took Andrew Weil out to harvest his first “hen of the woods.” He has taught thousands and hasn't lost a customer yet.
In 2007, Alan co-founded The REAL Center, a school for relationship skills and natural living. Author of The Haggadah Vita, Alan has led wild food Passover seder banquets for over twenty years. “Wild foods,” says Alan, “are a way of feeling at home in the world, i.e., that we are continually provided for and never alone.” Finally, his mother would like you to know that he graduated from Princeton.
With humor, warm-heartedness, and panache, Alan awakens nature's wayward offspring to the beauty and bounty of their bioregion. Ask anyone who knows The Mushroom Man: when it comes to bringing out the fun in fungi, he's the champignon.