46-year-old María Jesús Fernández Calvo celebrated her husband’s birthday with a family dinner at Michelin-starred RiFF restaurant in Valencia, Spain, this past weekend.
Tragically, Calvo passed away on Sunday, after bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea, with authorities investigating whether or not her death was caused by the potentially poisonous mushroom that was part of her meal.
She ate a rice and Morchella fungi dish, which can be deadly if not carefully cooked.
Over to the Telegraph:
Eleven more customers who ate at Riff on Saturday, including Ms Fernandez Calvo’s husband and son, came down with similar symptoms, Valencia’s medical authority has revealed…
Ms Fernandez Calvo and her family had opted for the special RiFF taster menu of various Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including one with the perilous morchella mushrooms [above].
The fungi, also known as true morels, are a delicacy in France but cannot be eaten raw as they contains the powerful hydrazine toxin.
Chefs usually dry the mushroom then rehydrate it with water or milk before a thorough cooking.
Riff head chef Bernd Knöller (who can be seen standing at the restaurant’s entrance right up top), has expressed his “deep sorrow” for the death, and has closed the restaurant whilst investigations are ongoing.
The taster menu that Calvo and her family ate usually comprises seven dishes and costs €85 (around R1 350) a head.
More on the investigation:
“We will have to wait…before we can determine whether it was the ingestion of a food that directly caused her death, or whether it prompted a state that led to this fatal outcome,” said regional health chief Ana Barceló on Wednesday.
Samples of ingredients have been sent to the National Toxicology Institute, she added.
The restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star back in 2009, was given a clean bill of health during Monday’s initial inspection.
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