Fungus Fair 2019 - Speaker and Chef Bios

Michael Beug

Michael Beug is Professor Emeritus of The Evergreen State College and an award-winning photographer, with photographs published in over 50 books and articles. He is principal author (with Alan and Arleen Bessette) of Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide. He writes about mushrooms in McIlvainea, The Mycophile, Fungi Magazine, and Mushroom: The Journal of Wild Mushrooming. He created 25 PowerPoint mushroom programs available through the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) as a two-DVD set. He is a coauthor of MatchMaker, a free mushroom identification program covering 4,092 taxa with over 5,000 images of 1,984 illustrated taxa ( He was winner of the 2006 NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology. He is chair of the NAMA Toxicology Committee, chair the Editorial Committee and past editor of the journal McIlvainea. In the Columbia River Gorge, he currently studies the unique fungal ecosystem associated with Quercus garryana where he has found roughly 50 unnamed Cortinarius species, many unnamed Hebeloma species, new species of Russula, a new Amanita, a new Polyozellus (a blue Chanterelle), a new morel and a new Sarcomyxa as well as numerous species previously thought to be restricted to California and Southern Oregon. His hobbies are organic farming and winemaking.

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.

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

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.

Daniel Winkler

Daniel Winkler grew up collecting mushrooms in the Alps and studied geo-ecology in Munich and Berlin. Then he worked on environmental issues in Tibet, focusing on forests and fungi as a source of rural livelihood. In 1996, Daniel moved to Seattle, where he is working as a mushroom educator, photographer, and author of Field Guides to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific NW and California (Harbour Publishing 2011/2012) and with Larry Evans “Field Guide to Tropical Amazon Mushrooms” (Mushroaming Publishing 2014). He continuously works on his extensive web pages at Since 2006, through his travel agency MushRoaming Daniel is organizing eco-tours to Tibet, the Amazon, and beyond.

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.

Jeff Emery

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