Fungus Fair 2018 - Speaker and Chef Bios

Jeff Emery

Terry Henkel Jeff Emery is the proprietor, winemaker, truck driver, barrel washer, paper pusher and just about everything else for Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

He stumbled into this occupation as a teenager in 1979 when he came to Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard one day to help bottle through a friend of a friend, and then failed to ever look for a “real job”. Jeff has never written a resumé, never filled out a job application, and never worn a tie. He became the owner of the business when his mentor and winery founder, Ken Burnap, retired in 2004, after a 25 year apprenticeship/collaboration together. Jeff has now seen 38 harvests in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Visit the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard/Quinta Cruz website at<

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.







Justin Pierce

Justin Pierce

Justin Pierce has grown up in the Santa Cruz County.  He as for nearly 10 served as minister of digital media as well as helping to lead local forays.  He is currently the Prime Minister of the club.   Always having a interest in fungi, Justin is a self taught mushroom cultivator and currently works at Far West Fungi.






Cassandra Fuentes

Cassandra Fuentes

Cassendra Fuentes has been a member of the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz for several years.   Her interest in mushrooms started when she was a teenager, but her love for the world of fungi blossomed after attending the FFSC Fungus Fair.   Her mycological interests and hobbies include low-tech mushroom cultilvation, mycoremediation, foraging and utilizing medicinal mushrooms.   She is currently part of the FFSC fair's set-up committe, former Minister of Local Forays, and is pursuing a degree in Biology at Cabrillo College.   The technique for growing Oyster mushrooms from toilet paper rolls is one that she first encountered while attending the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado.




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.

Chef Bob Wynn

Bob Wynn has been an active FFSC member since 1985.   Bob Wynn has sold food at the fair for 25 years.   He currently is our Culinary Minister.   Bob cooks for many of our FFSC food events.