From truffle festivals to special truffle menus, now is the time to enjoy one of the world’s most treasured and tasty culinary delicacies.
In a collection of woodlands throughout Australia from June through September, truffle dogs set to work.
Pawing at the earth beneath oak, birch, beech, and pine trees, these specially trained pooches point out the subterranean hiding spots of our world-renowned truffles—delicious culinary diamonds that are rarer than gold and will sell for upwards of $2,000 a kilo.
Happily, though, you won't have to forgo quite as much bank to sample a little truffle yourself. Truffle season is now in full swing in Australia, and there are many ways to get your fix, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Here are the very best truffle happenings from across Australia.
Hosted at Fonty's Pool in Manjimup just south of Perth, Truffle Kerfuffle sounds like the ultimate Australian truffle appreciation extravaganza. About 90 per cent of the country's truffles are grown in and around the area, supplying the likes of Quay in Sydney, Per Se in New York, and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in the UK.
This year, Manjimup's Truffle Kerfuffle festival will be hosted over the weekend 22-24 June. You can go truffle hunting with local growers (and their trusty truffle dogs, of course), delight in fresh truffle fare and local wines from the Margaret River region at the festival village by Fonty's Pool, and partake in masterclasses with top chefs like Mark Best, Bruno Loubet, and Marianne Lumb. Get your festival tickets here.
At Three Williams in Sydney's Redfern, you'll find an entire truffle menu alongside the cafe's regular brunch and lunch staples. Head chef Jacquie Ektoros has taken a totally inventive flavour-forward approach, applying her bounty of truffle to unlikely and surprising menu items and ideas.
"Truffle pairs well with cream, potatoes, chicken, meat and some seafood," says Jacquie. "The ‘Celebrating Truffle’ menu I’ve created at Three Williams is a collection of dishes and flavour combinations that I love to eat myself."
Prepare to indulge: a standout on the menu is a sourdough crumpet with truffle ricotta, mandarin, popcorn crumb, gold dust, and edible flowers. There's also waffle fries with three cheese sauce and fresh truffle, and truffle ice cream.
Head chef at Three Williams Jacquie Ektoros' truffle ice cream with chocolate cake and fresh truffle.
To buy your own truffle and truffle paraphernalia in Sydney, head to Madam Truffles winter pop-up shop in Chippendale. You can buy truffles per piece (they're about $15 depending on where they're from), as well as truffle honey, truffle ravioli, and truffle salt. The shop is open business hours Thursday to Sunday.
Pair your truffles with some of the country's very best red. On Saturday 28 July, Penfolds is hosting a special truffle dinner to celebrate the season at Magill Estate Restaurant, just 8km out of Adelaide city. Hosted by Penfolds ambassador Zoe Warrington and Mushroom Man founder Marco Marinelli, you'll be treated to five truffle-inspired courses and a selection of Penfold's prized wine. Bookings are essential, call 08 8301 5551.
To buy your own, visit Marco's mushroom and truffle store at the Adelaide Central Market. The market is open Tuesday to Saturday.
From June to August, Canberra becomes a truffle treasure trove with events peppered throughout the city for the annual Truffle Festival. As well as the 'Blessing of the Truffle Dogs' event in early June, you can delight in truffle-infused beer at Bent Spoke Brewing Co, hunt for truffles at Blue Frog Truffles, or taste truffles, Italian-style at Agostinis at the East Hotel.
Check out the full Truffle Festival calendar, here.
Tasmanian black truffles were some of the first grown in the country in the late 90s. Farmers in the north of the island felt the conditions were perfect: chilly weather, a refined rich soil mix, and tree roots prime for truffles to grow.
For truffle enthusiasts, Stillwater restaurant is hosting a weekend of foodie events from 27-29 July where you'll get to sample a selection of the very best Tasmanian fare. Friday night begins with an intimate Whisky and Cheddar tasting with distiller, innovator, inventor, and whisky genius Peter Bignell from Belgrove Distillery.
On Saturday, you'll taste around 40 Pinot Noirs from Tasmania and all around the world via The Pinot Shop. And in the evening, prepare for a six-course truffle-inspired menu at Silverwater. If you're still in the mood for truffles come Sunday, there's a truffle egg breakfast on at Silverwater too. For more information and bookings, go here.
This year, the Truffle Melbourne truffle festival runs from 22 May to 2 September. Highlights include a truffle tasting menu at Mercedes Me—a dining collaboration between Mercedes Benz and St Ali coffee. Try truffle tapas at Bomba Bar, or hunt for truffles throughout July at various Victorian farms.
You'll find Brisbane's most exciting truffle degustation at Bacchus. The special menu runs until August 4, and features tartar, risotto, and truffle ice cream. At OTTO, you can have a generous five-gram sprinkling of black Manjimup truffle on anything you like, for $25 until the end of August.