def: FORAGE - to search widely for food or provisions



I love the change of season - it allows us the liberty to mix it up, to switch gears, to slow down just a little as we adjust our old ways to the new days. And while the move towards cool weather may temporarily suspend our reckless devotion to beautiful summer fruits, it also brings with it a new depth to our cooking as we hit the slow button on our kitchen capers.

One of the key missions of VIVE Cooking School is to bring a new style of urban foraging, cooking and feasting to Sydney food lovers. The Saporium precinct will offer a diverse range of incredible food artisans under one dynamic, food-loving roof, allowing people to 'forage', source and shop for produce - and finally to learn how to cook this seasonal fare at VIVE.

(Recent Broadsheet article on this exciting new hot spot here.)

In keeping with the foraging theme and the seasonal shift, this week we chat to Fungimental founder and mushroom spokesperson Phillip White about his sustainable and socially aware mushi-ness! What a guy, and what a cool concept.

With a focus on seasonality, what better time to showcase our Cook's Tour class at VIVE Cooking School. Get ready to be transported out of the kitchen and into the paddocks of some of our fantastic rural collaborators. Nothing like a little foraging and dirt on your hands to really take you back to the root of the matter!

So sayonara to our long languid days and a hearty hello to autumn as we remember new ways to whip up warming recipes and cook up a new season storm.

Until next week...

The VIVE team.



When sustainable entrepreneur Gunter Pauli did a TED Talk a few years ago on what he coined The Blue Economy, Phillip White listened and learned. And from this, the Fungimental seed was sown. Inspired and energised, Phillip was intent on creating a business model around nature, sustainability and the ability to rapidly reduce the impact of consumption and waste. And so Fungimental sprouted!

The ethos behind Fungimental is so simple yet the road is a weaving and wonderfully complex one. Let me explain...

In its most simple guise, Fungimental collects coffee waste from a group of high-powered, megawatt coffee consumers (think Qantas, Virgin Australia, The Star Casino, Barangaroo, Westfield and more) and uses that waste to grow gourmet oyster mushrooms that taste sensational.

And while this may seem all about good coffee, great mushies and zero waste, this Fungimental tale has so much more fire in its belly!

At the heart of Fungimental is the urge to make a difference, one meagre mushroom at a time.

Established only a few months ago in November last year, Fungimental has already hit the mark with some serious players. But the program offers more than just good health and great soil. Fungimental is working with indigenous and homeless organisations to help Sydney's most vulnerable residents obtain structured work experience in order to forge pathways to real employment.

The mushroom waste produced by Fungimental is being utilised through a permaculture garden that will grow food for these disadvantaged groups of people.

Why mushrooms? Used well, mushrooms can provide a myriad of positivity, from remediation and medicinal means to serious blocks for building and design - or simply food for the soul. Fungimental's oyster mushrooms are 33% protein which makes them a great alternative to meat. They are high value, high yielding, fast growing and require minimum space to grow which makes them the perfect crop for urban agriculture.

The ultimate aim of the business is to provide maximum environmental, social and economical benefits in any place that we operate, whislt supplying the local market with delicious, locally produced gourmet mushrooms.
— Phillip White, founder, Fungimental

The main Fungimental facility is in final negotiations and will be happily situated on the rooftop of a prominent Sydney CBD building. With an initial launch due to take place in a retail unit on the ground floor of Central Park in Ultimo, Fungimental will design a fruiting tunnel that will allow people to get up close and personal with the mushrooms!

Excitingly, Fungimental is installing a mushroom wall that will become chief mushroom provider to VIVE Cooking School, imparting a growing knowledge of this fab fungi through the VIVE cooking classes. Incredibly fresh, seriously yum!

For more information please head to the Fungimental website here.




In keeping with the seasonal theme this week, I thought it poignant to focus on a seasonal class at VIVE Cooking School - and what better way to get up close and personal with your produce than through the Cook's Tour!

Block out your diary for a day of paddock-filled, foodie bliss aboard the Cook's Tour train! This class will take you into the paddocks of some of VIVE's closest collaborators and true food artisans. Hands-on and healthy, you will meet the producers, dig in the dirt and gain first-hand knowledge on the origins of your food.

But wait there's more!

Once you've foraged and chatted and found your fodder, it will be time to head back to VIVE HQ to whip up a meal that will make your heart sing.

Take the plunge and enjoy the ride with this incredible Cook's Tour class. For more information please head here.