This past Sunday, I experienced one of the most glorious food experiences that I’ve had yet to date. I joined Chef Dan Mallahan of Rider and Sunny and Stella (the truffle finding pup!) of Cascadia Truffles for a truffle forage about an hour north of Seattle.
I arrived with Chef Dan’s brother (and also local forager) Jeff and his girlfriend, Regan, about a half hour early to find Chef making grilled cheese sandwiches over an open fire in the woods.
These magical sammies were made with two types of cheese, house baked brioche bread (FYI they bake almost all their breads in house at Rider and they’re incredible), pear compote, truffles and lots and lots of butter. (Basically they were perfect). We had grilled cheeses and mango mimosas in the dewy forest before beginning our hunt.
Meet our foraging guides; Sunny and Stella (the sweetest pup ever)! Stella has been specially trained to find truffles and unlike most truffle dogs, who you can’t interact with at all, she loves people and being petted.
We had an absolutely blast following Stella around as she found truffle after truffle!
Chef Dan and brother, Jeff forage for wild watercress to use at Rider.
We found all these truffles on this one hunt! Sunny said it was about 6-8 ounces. And after the hunt, Chef Dan and the truffle hunting crew meet back up at Rider for an extravagant truffle dinner! I’m bummed I couldn’t make it to the dinner, but truffle hunting in the woods with mimosas and bomb grilled cheese sammies was about as perfect of a day as I could ask for.
By the way, Sunny and Stella do truffle hunts like this all truffle season long (which is sadly coming to an end) and throughout the season she does guided hunts like these with local chefs. This is the second one I’ve had the pleasure of going on and I’m telling y’all, it’s a truly awesome experience. Visit the Cascadia Truffles Instagram page for more info on her truffle hunts!