Hospitality Business Magazine

Trufforum USA 2024: Elevating Truffle Gastronomic Culture in New York

Truffle season is well and truly underway in New Zealand and renowned Chef Jasbir Kaur has explored the delicacy with a passion recently.

Chef Jasbir Kaur, with Spain’s Michelin-starred restaurants “La Torre del Visco” in Teruel and “La Botica de Matapozuelos” in Valladolid, recently presented a groundbreaking truffle master class at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York.

The presentation was about teaching students how to pair truffle with different flavours and different techniques how truffle can be used in culinary dishes, there were around 150 chefs who signed up for New York gastronomy class, which included students form CIA and teachers.

This culinary extravaganza, a part of the ongoing collaboration between Angel Moreton –  E Spain and the European Mycological Institute (EMI), showcased the harmonious relationship between truffle growers, chefs, oenologists, and researchers, emphasising the significance of collective efforts in the thriving truffle industry.

The week-long training program reached its pinnacle with an exclusive gala dinner titled “Her Majesty the Truffle,” held at the renowned James Beard House in Manhattan.

This opulent event, exclusively reserved for North American members of the James Beard Foundation, promised an unforgettable gastronomic journey. Chefs from “La Torre del Visco de Teruel” and “La Botica de Matapozuelos de Valladolid” and Chef Jasbir kaur – Skills Consulting Group captivated diners with creations featuring the freshly harvested Tuber melanosporum, expertly paired with wines from the prestigious Dominio de Atauta ,Traslanzas , Hijos de Alberto Gutierrez and Emilio Moro winery .

Truffle was used in every course and the menu included dishes such as Jerusalem artichokes with yolk form Ville and back truffle , truffle soup fritters , roasted and truffled cauliflower , rack of lamb with saffron potato and truffle, and for dessert truffle ice cream and cream of chickpea .

Participants were granted a unique opportunity to interact with truffle growers, scientists, and industry experts from Soria and Teruel, enabling the sharing of passion and knowledge regarding this exquisite delicacy. The evening not only celebrated culinary excellence but also provided a platform for networking and knowledge exchange.

During presentations by researchers and experts from E Spain, attendees delved into the world of black truffles (Tuber melanosporum), exploring their primary production areas in Europe and unraveling the mysteries of harvesting and truffle tourism. The sessions also addressed the preservation of truffle aromatic potential and the challenges posed by imitation aromas.

Chef Jasbir Kaur, alongside her culinary counterparts, conducted a live culinary demonstration featuring fresh truffles, complemented by a wine pairing led by a seasoned oenologist from Dominio de Atauta Winery in Soria. The educational activities concluded with a citizen science experiment facilitated by researchers from E spain  and EMI, evaluating the participants’ acquired knowledge during the training.

New Zealand is a world leader in the introduction and production of some of the world’s most sought after truffle species. The first Perigord black truffle to be harvested in the southern hemisphere was said to be produced in Gisborne in 1993. A thriving industry now produces commercial quantities of extremely high quality:

  • Perigord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum)
  • Burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum syn uncinatum)
  • Bianchetto truffle (Tuber borchii)
  • Winter black truffle (Tuber brumale)

The most common host trees for truffles in New Zealand are English and evergreen oaks, hazels, and some species of pine.