(Hard at work in the kitchen.)
You have probably all tasted truffle in one of it's many incarnations at some time but, like us, wondered what it actually was. Highly prized and classed as a luxury good around the globe, it is a fungus that grows in the roots of certain trees (oak and hazelnut mostly) and is harvested by hand, with the aid of specially trained animals when ripe. The WA truffle growers use impeccably trained and very cute dogs like Viva (pictured below) to harvest this amazing delicacy and export it to top kitchens around Australia and the world.
(Viva the truffle dog.)
We are so lucky to have an abundance of incredible produce on our doorstep and when the opportunity arose to be involved in this year's Truffle Kerfuffle not many questions were asked other than "when do you want us?". Any festival which incorporates truffles, wine and adorable dogs in a neatly packaged getaway down to Manjimup was always going to be our cup of tea but throw in master classes with some of Australia's best chefs and the opportunity to go hunting for our very own truffles and we were beyond sold.
(Eamon Sullivan and Anna Gare.)
The official launch of Truffle Kerfuffle was held at Bib and Tucker where we got to meet Viva and sample the calibre of produce that will be on offer on the weekend. We got to chat with Scott Bridger, Head Chef at Bib and Tucker and one of the standouts in an amazing lineup for the Truffle Kerfuffle about what to look for in a truffle product, what we should be eating now and a little insight into the inner workings of the Bib and Tucker kitchen.
(Scott Bridger, Head chef at Bib and Tucker.)
1. What motivated you to become a chef?
I left school when I was 16 to become a chef. The lure of travel and learning an artistic trade was too good to resist.
2. Talk us through the process of creating a dish that will end up on Bib and Tucker’s menu?
Seasonality is the main aspect. We also have an amazing range of cooking equipment, so I think about proteins and vegetables that could be cooked with wood and rotisseries and work back from there. I am also fortunate enough to have worked in many different countries, so I enjoy taking aspects of their cuisine and integrating it with modern techniques for our guests.
3. Bib and Tucker have a lot of modern reincarnations of old favourites on the menu - what inspires you to create new dishes?
Classic dishes are classic for a reason - people find comfort in familiarity. We like to twist it slightly and give them new presentation and textures without confusing the original dish.
4. Truffles are quite a foreign concept to a lot of our readers. Can you give us a quick run down of what we should be looking for in a truffle product?
If you are buying fresh truffles, smell them! There should be a faint smell of mustiness and deep earthiness. If you are buying truffle oil, don't purchase one made with extra virgin olive oil as it overpowers the taste of the truffle infused into it.
5. Why do you think truffles are so popular in cooking?
Truffles by themselves have a great taste, but when the dish is seasoned well and a small amount of heat is added, they turn into something really amazing
6. What are you most looking forward to doing down at TK?
Seeing what all the great chefs involved create with truffles and getting to cook in a beautiful location. Can’t wait!
7. What is your favourite secret spot of Perth?
The Swan River- it has so many small little hidden gems.
8. Any exciting plans in the near future for you that our readers should look out for?
We have a few things up our sleeves at Bib and Tucker, an exciting new winter menu and big plans for the coming summer.
9. Why is WA unique in the Australian dining scene?
The produce is unique and there is such diversity here. You can have enjoy CBD dining, eat seafood or a whole suckling pig by the sea, or head down south for local produce cooked by world class chefs.
10. What should our readers be eating now?
Truffles of course! But also braises of the secondary cuts of animals, fresh horseradish and marron from the Southern Forests region.
11. What would your ultimate last meal be?
My family and good friends around a big table with pigs and lambs on a rotisserie, interesting salads and a drop of wine!
(We got special versions of these amazing steak tartare bites sans the gluten.)
(The gorgeous Zara Bryson killing it in the outfit stakes in Miu Miu, Chloe, Cameo and Ellery.)
(We were spoilt with take home packs filled with truffle goodies that we have been putting to good use during study week.)
(We also got gluten free versions of this Jerusalem artichoke soup. Seriously if you have a gluten intolerance Bib and Tucker is one of THE BEST places in Perth to have an amazing meal.)
(And if the food isn't enough. Check. Out. That. View.)
Now that we have whet your appetite and given you a sneak peak into some of the exciting things planned make sure you head to the Truffle Kerfuffle website here to book your tickets and head down to the hottest event on the culinary calendar to date!
Can't wait to see you there! xx
(All article image credits thanks to Caitlin Irving and Zara Bryson of Peach and Pineapple.)