The centerpiece of the Napa Truffle Festival is the Truffles and Wine Dinner at La Toque. Chef Ken Frank assembles a world class team of chefs to participate, each creating a truffle laden course. Adding to the luxurious tone is a Champagne reception. Guests were served Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier en Salmanazar, an impressive 9 liter bottle, equal to a dozen bottles.
The passed appetizers were particularly impressive with truffles and quail and foie gras. But one in particular was a showstopper– mashed potatoes were coated in truffles and set to look like whole truffles in the wild. The trompe l’oiel effect was just the first of many surprises of the evening.
This year’s dinner featured the following dishes and chefs:
Daniel Gomez Sanchez and Ken Frank of La Toque prepared a Terrine of Fresh Hawaiian Hearts of Palm with Fresh Black Truffle, Green Apple and Sea Urchin. It was served with a 2012 Riesling Spatlese, Traiser Rotenfels, Dr. Crusius, Nahe
Luca Veriti of Met in Venice presented Risotto with Taleggio, Chestnuts, and Shaved Black Truffle. It was served with a 2008 Campo del Drago Brunello di Montalcino, Castiglion del Bosco
Matthias Merges of Folk Art Restaurants of Chicago offered Truffled Pigeon with Winsap Apple Butter, Berebere Spices. It was served with the 2012 Robert Sinskey POV, Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Dean Fearing of Fearings in Dallas served A Bar N Imperial Texas Wagyu Strip Loin on Salsify Puree with Pickled Beech Mushrooms, Truffle Jus and a Beef Fat Candle–edible except for the wick! It was served with 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Caravan, Seavey Vineyard, Napa Valley
Hayes Pickett of La Toque prepared a Truffle Ice Cream “Rocher” with Toasted Hazelnuts. The final course and the final surprise. The meal ended as it began, with another massive “truffle” of truffle ice cream coated in chocolate and topped with a flourish of gold leaf.