Mushroom Mania Brings Fungal Fun to UM April 19-20

April 13, 2017

MISSOULA – The University of Montana will host “Iron Chef” contestant Jehangir Meta and UM alumnus and World Food Championship winner Lance Avery on April 19-20 for UM Dining’s Mushroom Mania, a two-day event of tasting and learning about a variety of mushrooms and dishes.

The event is hosted in collaboration with the Mushroom Council. The schedule is:

  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19: Tabling on the Oval where the campus community can sample mushroom-blended recipes, learn more about mushrooms and answer trivia questions to win Mushroom Mania T-shirts.
  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20: Mushroom Mania hits the Food Zoo. Chef Meta will cook up blended burgers and Chef Avery will sauté several types of mushrooms for guests to try.
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20: Mushroom Mania wraps up at the Iron Griz with an offering of a five small-plate items paired with beer and wine. Cost is $40 per person.

Meta is an executive chef and owner of New York City restaurants Graffiti, Me and You, and Metaphor. In 2009, he was a contestant on “Iron Chef America” and was a runner-up on the second season of “The Next Iron Chef.” He has been featured in several food magazines, as well as Vogue and The New Yorker. He also has appeared on television programs including “Martha!” and on the Food Network.

Avery graduated from UM in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. In 2008 he began a quest that led to the invention of “bacon sausage” and in 2011 Avery founded the Chicago-based food company Big Fork Brands with his wife, Ann. Avery also won the “High Steaks Invitational” during the 2015 World Food Championships. Avery will be serving his portabella bacon sausage at the UM event. 

Note to media: Chefs Avery and Meta will be available for media interviews from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19. Call Sam Belanger at 406-243-5089 for more information.

Contact: Sam Belanger, UM Dining director of marketing, 406-243-5089,