CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook

Edited with essays by Eugenia Bone
Photography by Evan Sung
2021, Insight Editions, San Rafael, CA
Hardcover, 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1647222958;
ISBN-13: 978-1647222956
Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches

By now you have likely seen the amazing 2019 film Fantastic Fungi, by award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. If not, you must! Next came the companion book to the film; it is chock full of wonderful essays and commentary by many of the mycologists and mycowarriors who had contributed to Mr. Schwartzberg’s amazing film. (Briefly, the visually compelling companion book, edited by preeminent mycologist Paul Stamets, expands upon the film in every way through extended transcripts, new essays and interviews, and even more facts about the fantastic realm of fungi. You’ll learn about the incredible communication network of mycelium under our feet, which has the proven ability to restore the planet’s ecosystems, repair our health, and resurrect our symbiotic relationship with nature. I highly recommend!) Next came the Fantastic Fungi marketplace where mycophiles can find all manner of mycocuriosities and must-haves. Check it out online! (You can even purchase DVDs of the Fantastic Fungi film for cheap!)

Recently, Mr. Schwartzberg teamed up with writer Eugenia Bone to create a mushroom-themed cookbook. There have been several really good, really beautiful mushroom cookbooks of late. This one is a little different. It’s mushrooms. And it IS beautiful. But this one is based on favorite mushroom- based recipes from us—the mycophiles who know the mushrooms. And know what to do with them when we get them into our kitchens.

I highly recommend the Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook! This one-of-a-kind community-driven cookbook, edited by author Eugenia Bone, features over 100 mushroom-centric recipes from appetizers and mains to desserts and drinks. These are the kinds of recipes you will actually cook for dinner—tried-and-true, family recipes representing cultures from all over the world. Recipes include: black trumpet and fig pizza, lobster mushroom chowdah, chicken chanterelle paprikash, chaga chocolate chip cookies, and so many more.

The cookbook also features five engaging essays written by Gena Bone that explore a wide range of topics, including mushroom cultivation and foraging. Following the path set by Louie Schwartzberg’s award-winning documentary, this cookbook will expand your appreciation of the fantastic world of fungi, their different tastes and varieties, and their many applications, from flavoring drinks to replacing meat in recipes. The most diverse and comprehensive mushroom cookbook available, the Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook is the perfect gift for anyone who is curious about the marvelous world of mushrooms and the magic they can make in the kitchen. Plus it’s beautiful and the layouts are really well done!

Notes on the author and on the film’s creators: Eugenia Bone is an awardwinning nature and food writer. She has published over six books, including Mycophilia and Microbia, and her work has appeared in many outlets, like The New York Times, TheWall Street Journal, Saveur, and Food & Wine. Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than four decades providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Schwartzberg is a visual artist who breaks barriers, connects with audiences, and tells stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people, and places. At one time, his film Fantastic Fungi was the number 1 trending film on Netflix worldwide. See more at

— Review by Britt Bunyard
— Originally published in Fungi