Dan, the youtubeur mycologist and his “mushrooms”

Nailed to the ground and riveted to the undergrowth. In the summer of 2020, between two confinements, Dan, flight crew for an airline, no longer has its head in the clouds. Put on partial unemployment due to a pandemic, the forty-something, living in Alsace, has time and a desire: to communicate his passion for chanterelles, chanterelles and other hairy coprins. He then launches his Youtube channel, “Picking mushrooms”, where he shares his trips in the forest with his some 15,000 subscribers, “mushrooms”, as he calls them, interested in his knowledge and advice. Some of his videos, posted online at the rate of one per week on average, reach 100,000 views, such as the one devoted to morel wedges. In cumulative audience, his mushroom releases have been viewed more than a million times.

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In the landscape of the many videos devoted to mushrooms, Dan brings something more, by inviting Internet users to follow him in the undergrowth, cell phone in selfie mode. In a good mood, and in a very educational way, he enlightens, warns and inculcates good harvesting gestures, to avoid intoxication but also to respect nature. “Do not forget that you are the guest of the forest, recalls the youtubeur mycologist, smiling face overhung by a cap. Do not loot the woods, damage them or leave rubbish. We take a mushroom with part of its foot, we do not cut it flush with the cap because the clues to identify it as edible are lodged from head to foot, we do not trample the mycelium, the vegetative and reproductive system underground fungus … “

The forest’s call

“Boletus Edulis”, his pseudonym on the Internet, named after the Bordeaux mushroom, has long been a fan. In contact with a teacher who took his class to the forest to discover nature and mushrooms, the little boy from a village in the South-West discovers this mysterious world. ” Since [son] first porcini “, the autodidact has never ceased to be interested in the reign of fungi, through reading books and in contact with experienced mycologists. But it was after returning from a seven-year professional break in the United Arab Emirates, “A place where only buildings grow like mushrooms”, may this father find the call of the forest again.

Installed in Alsace for six years, a region with rich undergrowth, he confronts his theoretical knowledge with field observation, during multiple walks, but also on Facebook, during exchanges with other mycophiles. The idea of ​​reaching out to a wider audience is germinating during the pandemic. A period also used to take a university diploma in mycology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lille – a one-year training course, mainly attended by students, future apothecaries. In recent months, the mycophiliac can therefore boast of being a mycologist, even if this title designates as much an amateur like him as a specialized scientific researcher.

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Dan, the youtubeur mycologist and his “mushrooms”