The black Périgord truffle is the main star of the upcoming Napa Truffle Festival, but the participating chefs from around the world bring together an amazing array of talent to showcase fragrant delicacy. They are a Michelin star-studded group of master chefs who will be bringing their own style to the dining events. From the multi-course Truffle & Wine Dinner, a dream team of chefs will bring their artistry to enhance the truffle experience.
Ken Frank, Owner and Executive Chef at La Toque.
The truffle dinner (link) is being hosted by Ken Frank at La Toque restaurant, a Michelin starred restaurant. Ken has long sourced some of the best ingredients from Napa farmers, and even from his own garden. It’s fitting that ground zero for truffles grown in Napa will be closely tied to La Toque and Ken Frank. Chef Ken is widely considered the top truffle chef of North America. He holds the distinct honor of being the first, and so far the only, American chef invited to participate in the Fiera Internazionale Tartufo Biano D’Alba, the world-renowned Annual White Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy.
Riccardo Agostini, Owner and Executive Chef of Ristoranti il Piastrino in Pennabilli Rimini, Italy. After working in esteemed restaurants in Italy, Riccardo Agostini returned home to open his own, Il Piastrino, along with his wife Claudia. He brings creative touches to food deeply rooted in tradition and was quickly awarded Michelin Stars. While his restaurant has been a destination for culinary travelers in Italy, his favorite people to cook for are “La mia famiglia!”
Roberto Donna, Executive Chef Al Dente Ristorante, Washington, DC. This Italian born chef brought influences from the Piemonte region of Italy-in particular. His most recent restaurant is Alba Osteria, where guests can look forward to a casual setting to savor cuisine from Piemonte with a focus on the town of Alba, ground zero of world truffle industry. His food has earned him the James Beard Award for “Best Chef/Mid-Atlantic Region,” which was followed by his induction into “The Fine Dining Hall of Fame.” At his restaurant Al Dente, a runs a restaurant within a restaurant, Roberto’s 4, where his creativity shines. Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post ended a rave review with this declaration, “Roberto’s 4 left at least one patron with more goose bumps than a whole season of eating elsewhere in town.”
Tony Esnault, Executive Chef, Church & State, Los Angeles, CA. Tony Esnault grew up in the Loire Valley in France; he learned about fresh, rustic food at his grandparents’ farm, and later mastered techniques at François Rabelais culinary school in Lyon. He worked with Alain Ducasse, who has been awarded the most Michelin stars of any chef in the world, currently nine in all. at the legendary Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo, establishing a reputation for. In 2005, Tony became executive chef at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York City. While there, he garnered three Michelin stars and was named a “Rising Star” by StarChefs. In 2007, he went on to open Adour with Ducasse at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, receiving three stars from The New York Times and two from The Michelin Guide. In 2009, Tony relocated to Los Angeles to take the helm at Patina in the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, where he garnered a rare four-star review by Los Angeles Times. Now at Church & State in Los Angeles, his food is renown for its rustic preparations and deep flavors. In the spring of 2015, he plans to open his first restaurant, aptly named Spring, focusing on lighter French Mediterranean dishes and using only the freshest local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, just as his grandparents did decades before.