Who is behind this festival?

Jessica Shea, LCSW, Founder and Experience Curator

Jessica has been growing her own food for 20 years and is interested in the intersection between nature and mental health. We are currently facing emotional distress at record numbers resulting in a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness. She believes that it is in nature where the answer lies. From getting back to a natural organic diet, to spending time in nature, to gardening and foraging, to medical breakthroughs directly from nature and native healing recipes, to advocating for legal policy change to support these practices; she is here to curate talks across these topics.

Laurence Hall, Founder and Master of Ceremonies

Laurence is a self proclaimed nudist, libertarian, and plant medicine advocate. While Jessica, Kunal and Laurence were attending the Telluride Mushroom Festival in 2019, he suggested Memphis could use one of these festivals. From that idea and inspired by our friends at the Telluride Mushroom Festival, Memphis Mushroom Festival was born.  

Laurence is a Navy Veteran and is retired.  He spends his time traveling, skinny dipping, biking and boating on the Mississippi River.

Kunal Jadhav, Chef, Founder and Culinary Director

Kunal moved to America from India in 2002 and has been working on Indian Fusion Food ever since.  As the farm to table movement inspired Kunal, he learned gardening, farming and sustainable foraging from some of the best locals and is passionate about teaching you to cook with what is the freshest at that moment. 

Apples, mushrooms, ginger, oh my! Chef Kunal will dazzle you with the international inspiration that he brings to his recipes. He is offering tastings as well as lectures and cooking classes at Memphis Mushroom Festival.

Who Else Will Be Involved?

  • Foodies
  • Local Chefs
  • Local Musicians 
  • Foray Leaders
  • Local Farms and Orchards
  • Farm to Table Restaurants 
  • Fungofiles
  • Master Gardeners

  • Mindfulness Guides
  • Social Workers
  • Horticulturists
  • Scientists
  • Mushroom Expert Identifiers
  • Artists
  • Performers
  • Volunteers

  • Cooking Instructors
  • Students 
  • Psychologists
  • Mycologists
  • Hippies
  • Families
  • Local Farmers 
  • Drummers