Kiran Jethwa's Top 3 Mushrooms To Forage In Oceanic Climates - Exclusive

If you dig into "Chefs vs. Wild" — Hulu's new part-Bear Grylls, part-"Chef's Table"-inspired cooking competition — you know in your bones that mushrooms are magnificent. You almost certainly don't need the show's host and National Geographic's resident culinary explorer, Kiran Jethwa, to tell you that, but he's here to give you a little extra inspiration anyway.

"They're one of the most exciting things to go foraging for," Jethwa recently reaffirmed to Tasting Table in an exclusive interview. "They're so rewarding in many respects. When you find them, they look so beautiful on the forest floor, almost like they don't belong there. They kind of pop ... They're so delicious, so satisfying, and so healthy." 

Message received, Jethwa — but which mushroom species should you search for on your upcoming "Chefs vs. Wild"-inspired foraging trip? Jethwa can't speak for every natural mushroom-growing environment on the planet, in no large part because researchers at the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic once calculated that there are more than 6.2 million species of fungi on Earth. Jethwa can, however, point you in the right direction if you happen to be foraging in a forested, coastal environment similar to the British Columbia environs in "Chefs vs. Wild."

Chefs vs. Wild's most exciting mushrooms

Three mushrooms stood out to Kiran Jethwa while filming "Chefs vs. Wild." Remember when Sammy found pine mushrooms in Episode 1? That, Jethwa told Tasting Table, was "a gold standard," and — spoiler alert! — the only time you'll see them on the show. 

The cauliflower mushroom you'll see Nico find in Episode 2 is also a rare find. "That's a spectacular-looking mushroom and a spectacular-tasting mushroom," Jethwa said. "It tastes like egg noodles in a weird way. They have the same texture."

Lastly, according to Jethwa, be on the lookout for golden chanterelles in coastal forested environments similar to British Columbia's. "They are different from a regular chanterelle," the "Chefs vs. Wild" host explained. "[They are a] beautiful, bright, yellow-orange color and delicious."

Pro tip? If you do find these — or any other edible mushrooms on your next foraging trip — make sure to have newspaper at the ready. "Particularly with delicate roots, mushrooms, or things like that, you can pack them in newspaper, which you can keep moist," Jethwa explained. "It preserves the quality of what you are [foraging] so they don't dry out or get damaged ... It keeps them safe for when you get back to camp, particularly when you have a backpack and you'll be throwing stuff in a backpack."

Catch Kiran Jethwa on "Chefs vs. Wild," which is streaming now on Hulu.