This year the Napa Truffle Festival Master Chefs share their favorite truffle memories and dishes. With intense and unique aroma and flavor, it’s no wonder that chefs can’t forget their first time. The festival is a great opportunity to discover and indulge in this exquisite ingredient. Popular with all kinds of foodies, there’s a waiting list for most of the festival events, but you can still get your truffle fix at the Truffle Marketplace at Oxbow on Monday January 16. 2017. It’s free and open to the public. Don’t miss the cooking demos at 11:30 am and 2pm.
CHEF DEAN FEARING
FEARING’S RESTAURANT, DALLAS, TX
I swear I can still taste my first bite of fresh truffle to this day. There is just nothing like it – the flavor and aroma of fresh truffles are truly unique. And I think there is nothing better than enjoying them grated over a breakfast of warm eggs, or a plate of pasta – any kind, shape or size. When you eat a truffle, you KNOW you’re eating a truffle!
CHEF MATTHIAS MERGES
MATTHIAS RESTAURANT GROUP, CHICAGO, IL
The first time I encountered a fresh truffle, the air was filled with a perfumed aroma of forest floor, mushroom and fresh cut wood. It was the beginning of the truffle season and it changed my life forever. I like eating them simply: butter smeared on grilled bread, liberally covered with thinly sliced truffle, and topped with sea salt, extra virgin olive oil and a scattering of flat leaf parsley.
HOST CHEF KEN FRANK
LA TOQUE, NAPA, CA
In my very early years as a chef, I purchased my first fresh black truffles for a whopping $80 a pound. At the time, it was the most expensive food item I had ever bought. As advised, I stored them with eggs (the yolks have a singular ability to absorb their flavor), and the next morning I made the most outrageous omelet — and was hooked for life!
CHEF LUCA VERITTI
MET RESTAURANT, VENICE, IT
My first memory of a fresh truffle was in a dish of crayfish, broccoli and foie gras. The aroma reminded me of autumn – the scent of wood and earth. For me, truffles function as a megaphone for the rest of the food, underlining what the other ingredients have to say – like in my favorite truffle dish of dumplings filled with fontina cheese and black truffles.
– JEAN ANTHELME BRILLAT-SAVARIN