Four Michelin-starred chefs shared the kitchen at La Toque January 17, to prepare the annual Truffles and Wine Dinner, the centerpiece of the Napa Truffle Festival. La Toque executive chef/owner Ken Frank was joined in his restaurant kitchen by festival guest chefs Rick Tramonto, Stefano Ciotti and David Barzelay, with each chef responsible for one of the courses of the Truffles & Wine Dinner.
Tramonto, chef/owner of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans, brought an abundance of truffles to his velvety “cappuccini” — a rich, truffled soup served cappuccino-style in a small cup, topped with shaved truffle and accompanied by truffle butter toast.
For the fish course, Barzelay, chef/owner of Lazy Bear in San Francisco, offered a deconstructed chowder, with chunks of lobster and local Bay Area seafood as well as tiny potatoes in a creamy broth, with shaved truffle on top.
For his course, Ciotti, chef/owner of Nostrano in Pesaro, Italy, hand-made delicate meat-filled cappelletti (small ravioli), which he served in a light Parmesan cream sauce with shavings of truffle. See the shaving action.
The truffle theme continued in Ken Frank’s main course of truffle-studded roast veal, served with additional fresh truffle on top.
All of the courses were beautifully paired with interesting wines from France, Italy and Spain as well as Napa. The 2001 Faustino I Rioja matched to the veal was particularly luscious.
The dessert course, by La Toque pastry chef Isaac Carter, brought the meal to a memorable close. The black truffle-flecked cream tart, accented with salty fried slices of sunchoke and served with honeycomb ice cream, had some of the most intense truffle flavor of a truffle-filled night.