A Conversation with Tournant

In honor of our 2024 Color of the Year — Mushroom | R012  from our Northwest Color Collection, we connected with chefs Mona & Jaret of Tournant. Tournant’s special farm-to-fire approach to cooking celebrates both the beauty and the bounty of our region. Read on for how being rooted in the Pacific Northwest influences both their cuisine and food philosophy.

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How do you think living in the Pacific Northwest affects the style of your cuisine?

Our cuisine and all that we’ve created with Tournant is our love letter to the Pacific Northwest. We specialize in cooking meals outdoors over open fire and find great inspiration in both the landscapes and abundance of our corner of the world. We work in harmony with the seasons and our food is a direct reflection of what is at peak deliciousness from our network of local farmers, ranchers, fishers and foragers. We feel incredibly fortunate to live in a region that is blessed with such bounty from the fields and forests, rivers and oceans, and to have the Pacific Northwest as our muse.

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What are some of your favorite mushrooms varieties and why?

We LOVE matsutake mushrooms–so much so that we named our cat Matsutake! They only show up here in the fall and they possess the most wildly aromatic scent, redolent of pine and cinnamon, which is why they are also known as pine mushrooms. They can be tricky to spot since they grow by pushing up through the duff and moss and are often under the cover the forest floor. They have such a distinctive scent and texture that we think the best way to let them shine is in simple preparations, such as in a light broth, baked with mild whitefish in parchment, folded into risotto or steamed with rice.

In our region we also love to forage for conical shaped morels in spring, fat porcini and other boletes, chanterelles and lobster mushrooms in late summer and early fall. Each variety has a unique flavor and texture that is worth looking forward to!

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What are your favorite foods to forage and why?

Wild mushrooms are absolutely our favorite food to forage! When you go out mushroom hunting, you are never guaranteed a harvest, but the hunt is always worth it. There is a moment when external life fades away and you finally drop in and become immersed in the beauty and silence of the forest that is so peaceful. It’s just you and the forest and the stillness. Of course, it’s very rewarding when you strike forest gold, but we always say that you win either way when you go mushroom hunting. Even if you come up short on treasures, at least you enjoyed a glorious day in nature!

Other wild foods we enjoy foraging in our bountiful region are seaweed, oysters, clams and mussels, crawfish, stinging nettles, doug fir tips, miner’s lettuce, huckleberries, salmonberries, elderflower, and more!


How do you think the environment or physical space where people share meals affects their experience?

We say that our meals and immersive experiences are a celebration of time, place and purpose. We believe the surroundings are an integral part of the dining experience, whether indoors or out. Colors, textures and lighting are all important for changing perceptions. enhancing an experience, and creating a feeling or mood.

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What are some good resources for beginning foragers?

One important thing to mention is that you should always be careful when foraging wild foods and never eat anything you are not 100% sure is edible. Wild mushrooms in particular can be poisonous when consumed or have copycat versions that are not edible.

Getting a good book on mushroom identification for your region is a great resource. Similar books exist for other wild foraged foods as well.

Another great resource is The North American Mycological Association. Their website lists affiliated mycological associations by each state here:

Have fun out there, be respectful of nature, and while you’re learning and building your confidence just follow the old adage: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

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Do you have a recipe using mushrooms that you could share with us?

YES! We have created a special recipe in honor of Miller Paint’s 2024 Color of the Year called Mushroom Pizza Fritta with ricotta, pesto, pickled onion & garlic chips.

Find more inspiration for our Color of the Year.

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