September 2019

9/14: The Forest Table: Sunset Plant Walk & Tasting

Join your local herbalist, plant-based chef and wild food forager Jess Starwood for a guided sunset tour to explore the vibrant healing plants in our local environment. We will identify the plants and mushrooms we encounter and discuss their medicinal uses and culinary applications.

Afterwards, enjoy a five course wild food and drink tasting with this season’s freshest wild ingredients. Limited to 12 participants. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with further details the week before the event. No refunds after 7 days prior to event. (Forest Table events are always plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free)

Location: Topanga State Park

October 2019

10/5: Workshop & Tasting: Medicinal Plants with Dr. Jim Adams

In this full day workshop, Dr. Jim Adams will teach about native medicinal plants on a local trail in the morning, followed by a workshop in the afternoon to learn how to make medicine from these important plants. Jess Starwood will offer a gourmet tasting of local wild foods and beverages.

Jim Adams has a PhD in Pharmacology and studied with a Chumash Indian Healer for 14 years. In this class, he will teach medicinal plant identification and uses. You will be able to make a powerful pain liniment for your own use. You will be taught how to cure chronic pain. You will also be able to learn the uses of several other plants for other conditions. His book “Healing with medicinal plants of the west” will be available for purchase.

Jess Starwood is an herbalist, forager and plant based chef in the Los Angeles area. She has a Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine and training in holistic nutrition and mycology. She offers exclusive multi-course wild food dinners and teaches herbalism and wild food classes and workshops for adults and children.

October 5th
SunRaven Apothecary, Thousand Oaks, CA (Exact address will be provided after registration)
No refunds after 7 days prior to event due to food preparations.
$100, includes lunch and beverages
Register Here

10/27: Wild Tapas, with Pascal Baudar and Jess Starwood

Details to come.

November 2019

11/16: Ojai Herbal Symposium:
The Forest Table: A Wild Food Dining Experience

In this unique dining experience, participants will enjoy a gourmet eight course meal featuring unusual wild plants and mushrooms foraged from the local environment which will be prepared and served in a fine dining style. Between courses, herbalist, forager and chef will present the plants and mushrooms used in each dish to explain their important health benefits and how to incorporate them into meals for everyday use and special occasions. Each course will be crafted from seasonal wild foods and organic ingredients sourced from local farms. Locally brewed drinks including mead, elderberry wine and herbal beers will be served and discussed throughout the meal. The meal is plant-based and free of gluten, soy, refined sugars, egg and dairy.

This event is part of The Forest Table project where we aim to present the abundance of what our natural environment offers us through the lens of creative, educational and multi-sensorial community experiences. We will be working closely with and highlighting local artisans, creatives, teachers, chefs, farmers and foragers who bridge the connection between the forest and the people. We know that shared memorable experiences shape and influence people’s minds and hearts. Through these unique experiences, we hope to cultivate a renewed sense of respect and responsibility for the care-taking of our land for a positive and sustainable future.

Register at the Ojai Herbal Symposium registration page. You do NOT have to be a symposium attendee to participate in this Forest Table event:

11/16-17: Ojai Herbal Symposium: Herbal Marketplace


Visit SunRaven Apothecary and The Forest Table at the Herbal Marketplace in conjunction with the Ojai Herbal Symposium on both Saturday and Sunday of the event for local herbal goods. For more information on the Symposium, visit

11/22-29: Foraging Baja: An 8 Day Exploration of Mexico’s Unique Edible and Medicinal Plants

Join experienced plant experts Dennis Sharmahd and Jess Starwood in the Sierra la Laguna mountain forests and canyons and the Cabo Pulmo Reef in the Baja region of Mexico for an immersive wild plant exploration. We’ll roam the arid tropical forests, to the oak pine mountains of the Southeastern region of the Baja Peninsula. These diverse ecosystems are home to many rare plants and unique cacti—as many as 88 species are only found in this protected region. Maybe we’ll even find some mushrooms. We will enjoy waterfall pools and hot springs, deserted beaches, and explore conservation projects, camp under starry skies in comfortable tents, and limited private room accommodations. Locally sourced, wild-inspired plant-based meals will be provided by forager chef Jess Starwood.

$1800 per person
November 22-29th, 2019
Limited to 10 participants, phone interview required.

$200 non-refundable deposit reserves your space. Full amount due by October 1, 2019. Deposits and balances may be paid via PayPal or Venmo in US dollars. No refunds after Oct 1 2019.

Price includes all land transportation, lodging, food, guides and nature reserve fees. It does not include gratuities, airline tickets nor travel insurance.

Please email me to schedule an interview. For more details, visit:

Looking ahead to 2020…

In the Spring of 2020 I will be introducing a comprehensive and in-depth herbal program for students looking to take their personal practice further. This 12 course program will begin in January and is limited to only 8 students. For more information, to reserve a spot, please email me directly at

In addition the the adult herbal program, a new children’s multi-week offering will be added to the schedule. More details to come.


If you are interested in a private class, workshop, interpretive plant walk or hike, wild food and drink tasting or private dinner, please contact me directly for details: