Chefs make mushrooms the star of spring dishes

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From The Repository | May 17, 2011

By Jennifer Mastroianni

If you want to experience morel mushrooms but don’t want to head into the forest, find chefs who have already done foraging and are featuring the coveted fungus on their menus.

Bender’s Tavern in downtown Canton serves morels as a side dish.

“We just dust them with flour, add a little salt and pepper and pan sauté them in a little butter,” said Jon Jacob, general manager. “We don’t mess around with them. We let the mushroom do the work.”

Every spring for at least 20 years, the Jacob family has featured local morels on their menu. The family has several secret woodland spots, and hunting for mushrooms is a family tradition.

“My dad took me out when I was 7 or 8,” said Jon Jacob’s father, Jerry Jacob. Jerry took Jon, and now Jon takes his young son morel hunting.

“After the season is over here, we will start ordering them from Michigan,” Jon Jacob said. He recommends pairing the mushrooms with a Pinot Noir.

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