First hotel to have a mushroom farm is located in the East Village, mushroom-themed events planned | amNewYork

This is not the form for the table on the standard. It’s the farm on your desk.

At The Standard Hotel in the East Village, one will find a mushroom farm, the world’s first, inside the hotel, harvested each week for guests and mushroom lovers alike. This month, a group of hotels is hosting events To the public revolving around toadstools: from psychedelic talks with the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society to mushroom-growing workshops with fungus researchers.

David Gross, executive chef of the hotel’s Cafe Standard, thought the hotel’s mushroom farm was one of the best things to do when he was hired. The hotel’s Mushroom Farm Café runs on top of the standard, where Gross and other kitchen staff harvest blue oyster mushrooms each week.

“It kind of looks like an aquarium,” Gross said. “Usually, we get about 30 pounds a week from the farm, which is a lot of mushrooms. They are very useful.

But the hotel doesn’t do the job alone: ​​There’s a science behind growing mushrooms, and it’s really the job of a mushroom professional, Gross said. The hotel works with Smallhold, a Brooklyn-based mushroom picker who maintains the farm. The company, which contacted The Standard in 2019 with the opportunity, also oversees other mini-mushroom farms in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, and sells harvested mushrooms to produce markets such as Whole Foods and Safeway.

“There’s a delicate balance of temperature, humidity, and those things that professional mushroom farmers must have control over,” Gross said. “As soon as they cut them, they re-spore them and within a few days they’ll start growing again.”

The cafe serves up a mushroom-heavy menu with mushroom “pate,” mushroom farro bowls, house-made mushroom broth, and a goat cheese omelet, which Gross said is a big hit with hotel guests and cafe diners. .

“I’m looking for cool ways to use them in different recipes,” Gross said. “We have a vegetarian mushroom charcuterie. We also use the stems or ends of mushrooms. We’re using whole mushrooms.

Photo courtesy of The Standard East Village.

In addition to the coolness factor of having some of the food you’re eating grown right in front of your eyes, there are also environmental and cost-saving factors, said Anika Pivarnik, spokeswoman for The Standard East Village.

“You can see the whole lifecycle of the food on your plate,” Pivarnik said. “I think it’s rare, especially in New York City.”

Pivarnik said the mushroom farm is able to provide hotel guests and visitors with information about urban farming and show that it is possible to grow mushrooms in a hotel-like environment. Pivarnik curated upcoming events that will feature local non-profits and mushroom researchers, including the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, Bushwick-raised curandera Yaqui Rodriguez, and Brooklyn-founded jewelry brand Pamela Love.

“I wanted to curate programming that was able to celebrate mushrooms as a food source, mushrooms as healing medicine through psychedelic therapy, and then have them touch on fashion and design inspiration as well,” Pivarnik said. Said.

This will be the first time the hotel has hosted a conversation about psychedelics, but the timing seems right. The mushroom-themed events come on the heels of legislation for psychedelics introduced by several Albany lawmakers in late December. The bill, sponsored by Manhattan Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, would legalize adult possession and use of certain natural plant or fungus-based hallucinogens, including dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, mescaline and psilocybin. The bill would also legalize kits for growing, growing or cutting those hallucinogens.

“Mushrooms are these big living things that provide so many benefits to the earth and the culinary world,” Gross said. “The sky’s the limit with them.”

Mushroom Farm inside Cafe Standard at The Standard East Village hotel in New York City.Courtesy of The Standard East Village.

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