Fungus Fair 2018 - Speaker and Chef Bios


Dr. Terry Henkel

Terry Henkel Dr. Terry Henkel is Professor of Mycology and Botany, in the Department of Biological Sciences, at Humboldt State University (HSU).

Dr. Henkel received his PhD from Duke University in 2001, and has taught at HSU since 2002. Mycology has been a strong dimension at HSU for over 40 years. Dr. Henkel has maintained this tradition by offering courses in Microfungi, Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes, Forest Pathology, and Field Mycology.  His research has pioneered the study of macrofungi in remote, pristine tropical rainforests of South America’s Guiana Shield and the Central Africa’s Congo Basin. Locally, Henkel and graduate students have examined the overlooked, but important roles of indigenous forest pathogenic fungi in shaping community structure of coniferous forests of the northern California Coast Range. This work has led to nearly 90 peer-reviewed publications with numerous student co-authors.

Visit his HSU homepage at and research website at


Christopher Hobbs

Christopher Hobbs Christopher Hobbs, LAc, AHG, is a fourth-generation herbalist and third-generation botanist whose life-long passion for plants was sparked at the age of 5, and then discovered mushrooms at 23. After 40 years of actively teaching and learning about the natural world, he is still ardently listening to what the plants and fungi have to teach.

The author of 25 books on health and herbal medicine, a licensed acupuncturist with more than 15 years of clinical experience, Hobbs is now a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley in the plant sciences, especially evolutionary biology, biochemistry, botany, and ethnobotany.


Chef Chad Hyatt

Chad Hyatt Chad Hyatt is a classically trained chef that has spent most of the last decade cooking in some of the better restaurants and private clubs around the South Bay and SF Peninsula. He spends his free time hunting for and learning about mushrooms, with a particular interest in exploring underappreciated edible species. He has worked with various mushroom clubs and private classes to give demos, teach, and cook special dinners focused on wild mushrooms. He loves seeking out new techniques and traditional ethnic recipes from all over the world to apply to his local mushrooms, and has earned a reputation for coming up with surprising, delicious new ways to use them. He has spent the last year and a half working on a wild mushroom cookbook, which is now nearing completion.


Chef Todd Spanier


Noah Seigel

Noah Seigel Noah Seigel's field mycology skills are extensive – he has spent over two decades seeking, photographing, identifying, and furthering his knowledge about all aspects of macrofungi. He has hunted for mushrooms throughout the United States and Canada, as well as on multiple expeditions to New Zealand and Australia. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation, having won numerous awards from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) photography contest. His technique and attention to detail are unrivaled, arising from a philosophy of maximizing utility for identification purposes while maintaining a high degree of aesthetic appeal. His photographs have appeared on the covers and have been featured in articles of multiple issues of FUNGI Magazine and Mushroom the Journal, the primary mushroom enthusiast magazines in the United States, numerous mushroom books, as well as many club publications. He just finished, along with Christian Schwarz, Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, a comprehensive guide for the northern California coast. Noah travels and lectures extensively across America, following the mushrooms from coast to coast, and everywhere in between.


Christian Schwarz

Christian Schwarz Christian Schwarz is a mushroom enthusiast and taxonomist and citizen science advocate from Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He studied at UCSC, and now spends his time photographing, teaching about, and making scientific collections of macrofungi. He is coauthor of the upcoming field guide "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast", and is slowly building a mycoflora of Santa Cruz County ( He also writes a blog called Notes of a ( Fungi satisfy his curiosity with their seemingly endless forms (from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublime). He has travelled in search of fungi throughout the United States, as well as central America, Indonesia, and Europe. Besides mushroom taxonomy and mycofloristics, he’s an excitable birder and passionate about citizen science in general


Douglas Smith

Doug Smith Douglas Smith has been involved in mycology for many years, looking for and photographing mushrooms on several continents.  His photographs have been featured in field guides, journals, and magazines, such as National Geographic.  A constant figure in the Bay Area mycology scene, he is an expert in many fungus fairs, and organized forays.


Chef John Walla

Chef Walla John Walla is truly passionate about plant and fungus based food. Mother Nature’s vast array of flora and fungi provide for an endless palate of colors, flavors, and textures to apply to the blank canvas of your hungry soul. His business of “Heartical Foods” is not just about food for the belly, but “food to inspire One Love and One Heart in humanity. Food, like music can be a great unifying power and cohesive force as it is something we all need and must share.”

John is inspired by music and spends lots of time in nature and in gardens, the source of our food. His experiences working in UCSC campus gardens, Two Dog Organic Farm in Davenport, and attending Natural History Field Quarter helped him deepen his connection with the Earth, the great source of our food from seed to sprout and farm to table. While at UCSC he began providing healthy food for campus and social functions and continues to serve campus events. John shares what he knows and loves so much by teaching culinary “Veg-education” courses. His venues have included PICA the Program in Community and Agroecology at the University of California Santa Cruz and frequently through the Briar Patch Food Coop in Grass Valley.

“Every seed we plant and every spore we spread is a great opportunity for something new to grow that we can share.” Adapting and fusing styles from around the globe, his Vegan World Fusion Cuisine connects and unifies diverse flavors, while maintaining traditional culinary themes and time honored traditions. We hope you will come together in similar fashion and enjoy a healthful meal with John! “Ital is Vital to Your Health”!