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topped with truffle coulis. In 2008 we expanded the festival and 11,000
people came to see what all the fuss was about. In 2009, we expanded again
and 24,000 people turned up. It began to dawn on us we were creating
something rather big and wonderful.
The 2010 festival will happen over the weekend of 31 July-1 August. We ve
expanded the program again, with free cooking demonstrations, food-themed
talks, a long lunch or two, and stuff for the kids (see box for more details).
We re keeping it mostly local this year, focusing on regional food and wine.
Alain will be there, signing his new book and dispensing bonhomie. Delicious
Food Editor Valli Little is coming, as is our own queen of food, Marg Johnson.
And if you re fortunate enough to find yourself with a fresh truffle? Try
shaving it generously over something warm, bland and creamy, allowing the
heat of the dish to release the truffle s unique aroma. I like mine sprinkled over
handmade pasta or a simple risotto just before serving.
Truffled mash is also wonderful. Or, for the height of restrained elegance,
you could get yourself a lovely thick fillet of fresh fish and top it with shavings
of truffle, melted butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Most importantly, make sure you use your truffle as soon as possible, and
always remember the David Beckham rule: simple is best. sm
Jane Cornes is program director of the 2010 Mundaring Truffle Festival,
31 July-1 August. Entry $10, kids free. Jump the queue and book your festival
entry and special truffle events online at mundaringtrufflefestival.com.
THE WORLD'S LONGEST
TRUFFLE LUNCH: This
degustation-style lunch features
courses by Russell Blaikie (Must
Wine Bar), Alain Fabrègues (The
Loose Box), Michael Forde (Cantina
663 and Clarence's) and Vince
Velletri (Slow Food Perth), each
matched to a premium Perth Hills
Wine. (Ticketed event).
FRESH TRUFFLE SALES: Buy fresh
truffles by the gram at The Wine &
Truffle Company's Truffle Central.
TRUFFLE MASTERCLASS: The
festival's very special flagship
truffle masterclass featuring Alain
Fabrègues, Emmanuel Mollois of
Choux Cafe and Hadleigh Troy of
Restaurant Amuse. (Ticketed event).
FOOD PIAZZA: Restaurant-quality
truffle-themed food to go, as well
as general takeaways.
COOKING DOME: Free cooking
demonstrations performed by
some of the best-known food
personalities in Perth.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Free food-
related talks, one-on-one interviews
and panel discussions.
GOURMET PRODUCE MARKET:
Artisan food stalls will be offering
sales and tastings.
PERTH HILLS WINE SHOW: More
than 100 wines will be available for
tasting. (Ticketed event.)
SLOW FOOD CHILDREN'S
MARQUEE: Free food-related
activities for the littlies.
Pemberton digs for black
gold -- and prays for white
Truffle aficionados will also be sniffing around Pemberton this win-
ter, where they are eagerly awaiting their first crop of truffles.
Dion Rangé from Stonebarn, a country retreat with an 1800-tree
trufferie, says that last year truffle dogs found many areas of interest
among the tree roots but no fully formed truffles at that stage.
A year on, they are expecting big things, with Dion reporting that WA truffle
expert Dr Nick Malajczuk has identified all the right root structures present for
truffles to be ready this year.
It is six years since Stonebarn's trufferie -- planted with oak and hazelnut trees
-- was first established, and Dion says that's about enough time to expect to see
the first truffles appearing. So, every fortnight from early June, they will be out
there, hunting for the black gold.
Most of the trufferie, which is fully reticulated, has been inoculated with
spores from the black truffle (the French Perigord truffle), which is already being
successfully produced by in Manjimup nearby, but Dion says a small number of
new trees planted last year were also inoculated with spores from a white truffle
(also known as Alba, from Italy).
It has yet to be seen whether white truffles thrive in the region but if the
experiment is successful, it will certainly pay off. While black truffles fetch about
$2000-$2500 a kilo, Dion says white truffles can fetch five or six times that. He will
have to wait another five years, however, to find out if the growth has succeeded.
Stonebarn is also a boutique hotel, and has built a reputation as a premier
destination in the 18 months since it opened. Designed by a Parisian architect
and built from stone -- hand-picked locally -- and wood from local timber mills,
the beautiful Stonebarn building is a highlight in itself.
With an emphasis on fine cuisine and a cellar built around local wines, Dion
says they have also recently obtained a liquor licence, which also allows them to
sell cases of wine to guests at competitive prices.
As well as the trufferie, the 65ha property has about 30ha of natural bush and
adjoins state forest. With dams filled with trout and marron and both the Warren
River and Quinninup Brook traversing the property,
it is a beautiful place to stay. The produce from the
dams and the extensive vegetable garden -- and
hopefully soon, the trufferie -- are used in the fine
cuisine served at the retreat's restaurant, but
Dion is confident that there will also be plenty of
demand for his truffles from around WA, interstate
To fi nd out more call (08) 9773 1002 or go
to stonebarn.com.au. To sample some truffles in the
area head to The Wine & Truffle Co. in Manjimup,
go to wineandtruffle.com.au.
2010 Mundaring Tru le
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