Make Way for Foraged Wild Mushrooms

Plus: Terra Celebrates Eight Years

By Eva Moore
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Make Way for Foraged Wild Mushrooms

It happened so quietly that almost no media outlets caught it — except the South Carolina Radio Network, that is. Last month, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control approved new restaurant guidelines making it easier for restaurants to serve wild, locally foraged mushrooms.

It took one key change: Before, restaurants could serve wild mushrooms as long as the shrooms were inspected by a mushroom expert — but the state didn’t define what made someone a mushroom expert.

Now, the Radio Network reports, the agency has defined an expert as someone tested and certified by a DHEC-designated third party.

Already, a man named Tradd Cotter of the Mushroom Mountain lab and farm in the Upstate is organizing certification courses for mushroom experts; he expects courses to begin in early August.

The change came more than a year after environmental groups and food folk launched a petition to change state mushroom regulations.

We’ve already seen wild mushrooms on some Midlands menus over the last few years — chiefly chanterelles, which grow around here during the warm fall months. But it’s unclear whether restaurants were offering those legally. Now, chefs and eaters will know for sure.

Interested in becoming a certified mushroom expert — or just learning more about foraging mushrooms? Visit to contact Cotter, and keep an eye out for other entrepreneurs launching mushroom ventures here in the Midlands.

Terra Celebrates Eight Years

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday dear Terrrrraaaaaa

Happy birthday to you.

That’s one way to wish a happy birthday to a restaurant that, over the past eight years, has deeply influenced Midlands cuisine, setting a high bar for excellence that’s improved eating throughout the region.

You know what’s a better way to wish Terra a happy birthday? Dining there. From Aug. 1-8, Chef Mike Davis is offering a special eight-dish birthday menu “full of dishes by chefs he’s worked with, trips he’s taken and iconic cookbooks that have helped him form his cooking and restaurant philosophy over the years,” according to an email.

For example, Davis is making a wood-oven pizza inspired by his first job, which was at DePalma’s, an Italian restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and baked grits with country ham and wild mushrooms, a favorite of Davis’ Birmingham mentor, Chef Frank Stitt. The regular menu will be available as well.

Reach Terra at 791-3443.

Beltline Lizard’s Thicket Closes for Remodeling

Fear not, Lizard’s Thicket fans: The Beltline location of the local Southern-food chain is closing, but only temporarily. Beginning Aug. 3, the restaurant will shut down to remodel, including adding a front porch, new floors, and new roof and new furniture. Stay tuned for a reopening date. In the meantime, the closest locations are at 7938 Garners Ferry Road and 3147 Forest Drive. Visit for more information.

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