Six Ideas for Foodies Who LOVE the Outdoors

by Casey Higgins | Posted on June 28th, 2013

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You love food. You love the outdoors. Marry the two in Virginia, where we deliver both equally well.

1. Take to the Atlantic or Chesapeake Bay and catch your own dinner, but leave the cooking to one of Virginia Beach’s fine establishments. They’ll prepare it any way you like while you enjoy a little time with the ones you love.

Paddling the Eastern Shore. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Paddling the Eastern Shore. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

2. Paddle away in a kayak for clams and wine, if you like, from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Find littleneck clams buried in the mud of Cherrystone Creek when you sign up for a kayak clamming tour with SouthEast Expeditions. SEE also offers a kayak winery tour to award-winning Chatham Vineyards or Holly Grove Vineyards. Check the calendar at Chatham to look for special oyster and Chardonnay pairings.

Pleasure House Oysters, Chef's Table Tour

Pleasure House Oysters, Chef’s Table Tour

3. Speaking of oysters, pull on some waders and go to where the oysters grow … in the water! A one-of-a-kind experience awaits at Pleasure House Oysters in Virginia Beach. Taste the famed Lynnhaven oyster straight from the Lynnhaven River when you book the Chef’s Table Tour.

4. Take a guided hunt for wild mushrooms! Really, take a guided hunt. I can’t overemphasize the need to hunt mushrooms with someone who KNOWS mushrooms. Connect with Steve Haas Mushrooms – HaaShrooms – in Richmond. He has the connections to lead you on “Wild Food Forays” in Virginia. After you reap the rewards of the hunt, ask for his HaaShrooms White Sauce recipe (goes great with Chicken of the Woods, he says).

5. Hollin Farms in Delaplane is the only farm in Virginia (that I found) that allows you to dig your own peanuts (call to verify hours). What do you do with raw peanuts? See this Pinterest board of recipes or this previous post that includes Hotel Roanoke’s peanut soup! *Of note is that Hollin Farms is located along the Fauquier County Wine Trail. Maybe you want to pair your dig with the pop of a cork or special pairing?

6. When they arrive, think about the capture-and-cook notion dreamed up by bon appétit: CICADAS. Yes, the plague that was hit-or-miss a few springs ago in Virginia found its way into Richmond by way of three local chefs – Jason Alley of Comfort and Pasture, Will Wienckowski of Ipanema, and John Seymore of Lunch. and Supper! Cicadas were caught and the trio of chefs developed recipes like Charleston Cheese Grits and Blackened Cicadas with Grilled Onions and Peppers. In the end, everyone agreed that the little (big) buggers will not be added to the menus. Try them at home? Recipe.

As a foodie or outdoor adventurer, what would you like to do in Virginia? Do you have any thoughts on marrying the two? Comment below to let us know!

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Northern Neck Watermen have created a wonderful program, in conjunction with the Northern Neck Tourism Commission, “Go Where They Grow”. Watermen take eco-tourists out on their boats for up close and personal tours-history, oystering, crabbing, learning all about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. A “must do” for teaching about the lifestyle of watermen and the importance of protecting the Bay.