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If the 2019 Winning Appliances & Asko Truffle Kerfuffle were a music concert, who would be the lead singer, who are the real stars, who are the back up vocalists, the dancers and what’s the VIP experience?
1. Lead singer: Truffles
The lead singer, the true star of the show would be the ‘tuber melanosporum’, otherwise known as the black truffle, prized for its rarity and beguiling aroma. Truffle Kerfuffle is a celebration of one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients that fetch prices between $2 and $3 a gram, that’s $2,000 to $3,000 per kilogram, which explains how they came to be known affectionately as ‘black gold’. Truffle season is short, from June to August, and you only need a small amount to transform a dish from ordinary to sublimely extraordinary. Talented chefs will show you how to best use truffle during the free cooking demonstrations on stage at the Festival Village. Plus, there’s no better place to buy freshly unearthed truffles than at the Marketplace in the Festival Village.
2. Back up vocals: Southern Forests Produce
Supporting the lead singer, the black truffle, would be the Southern Forests Produce. The Southern Forests region of Western Australia has clear, crisp air, fertile loamy soils, the purity of the rainfall and 365 growing days a year. From finger limes to potatoes, apples and the prized Bravo apple, pumpkins, persimmons and stone fruit, in fact, the region produces over 50 different types of fruit, vegetable and nuts as well as milk, beef, marron and a host of other food types. As you savour the produce and you’ll know what the locals have known for generations, that Southern Forests Produce simply looks, smells and tastes better. You’ll be able to try and purchase direct from producers at the Marketplace, which is all undercover at the Festival Village. There is something magical going on in this gorgeous, pristine part of the world.
3. Dancers: Chefs
Event goers are attracted by the lead singer (truffle), and the back up singers make the lead sound amazing, and that’s what hte Southern Forrest produce does to the truffle. But the dancers make it a show, they entertain, bring glamour, energy, colour, much like the chefs who prepare exquisite dishes with Southern Forests produce starring freshly unearthed truffle.
This year, the impressive line up includes Pete Evans, Poh, Anna Gare, Nicole Bampton (Capriccio Osteria, Sydney), Aaron Carr (Yarri), Russell Blaikie (Must Winebar), Tony Howell (Cape Lodge), Paul Iskov (Fervor), Scott Brannigan (Bread in Common), Chris Eales (Bread in Common), Amy Hamilton (Liberté), Sophie Zalokar (Foragers), Nic Wood (Santini), Melissa Palinkas (Young George), Sophie Budd (Taste Budds), chocolatier Sue Lewis, along with chefs from revered eateries Mary Street Bakery and Tiny’s.
4. The band: The Festival Village
Every concert needs a great band. In this analogy, the Festival Village is the band. Set at Fonty’s Pool, it offers amazing truffle experiences and it’s the perfect place to smell, taste, buy and learn about black truffle and Southern Forests wine and produce. There are free tastings, free cooking demonstrations all weekend, truffle dog demos, children’s activities and cooking classes, a chance to chat to producers, farmers and wine makers, live music and much more. The Festival Village is the vibrant hub of Truffle Kerfuffle weekend and offers a unique chance to indulge in black truffles at their freshest, minutes from where they are unearthed. The Festival Village is at Fonty’s Pool open 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
5. Support acts: Demonstration stage
Like all good headline acts, they choose really great supports acts to get everyone in the mood. There are amazing dining events for truffle lovers to purchase tickets to (see below), but also loads of free activities once inside the Festival Village. All weekend the Winning Appliances & Asko Festival Stage will host non-stop cooking demonstrations featuring great culinary talent including Pete Evans, Poh, Anna Gare, Paul Iskov, Sophie Budd, Nic Wood, Amy Hamilton, Melissa Palinkas, Aaron Car, Nicole Bampton and Sue Lewis. Hosted by popular acclaimed WA chef Tony Howell.
6. VIPS: Dining Events
For a VIP experience, grab tickets to one of the decadent dining events at Truffle Kerfuffle. Take a seat at a candle-lit long table for a delicious dining experience prepared by renowned chefs. Last remaining tickets are available for Enchanted Southern Forests Feast with Pete Evans, Magical Manjimup Brunch with Aaron Carr and Mary Street Bakery on Saturday, L’Elegante Tartufo (The Elegant Truffle) dinner with Santini’s Nic Wood and Melissa Palinkas from Young George on Saturday night, Wholesome Winter Sunday Brunch with Pete Evans, and Poh’s Lunch Among the Karris.
7. V-VIPs: Chefs Cabin
Amp up your Truffle Kerfuffle experience with a V-VIP experience, getting up close and personal with your favourite culinary super stars in the Chef’s Cabin Series. Popular with foodies and those wanting to be up close to learn more about using such a premium ingredient, chefs will be sharing recipes and knowledge with lots of tips and tricks. Gather around the kitchen bench of the limited Chef’s Cabin Series and run to grab one of the last tickets with Pete Evans, native food expert Paul Iskov from Fervor and revered Liberté restaurant owner and chef Amy Hamilton. Hosted by Gourmet Traveller’s Max Veenhuyzen, the Chef’s Cabin Series are renowned for personal connections, flowing conversations and include fine wine. Most of the Chef’s Cabin sessions are already sold out, so get in quick.
8. Back Stage: Truffle Hunts
What’s it like back stage at a concert? Back stage is as alluring as the rare black truffle. Fossicking through forests of hazelnut or oak trees with clever canines hunting for truffles is the quintessential truffle experience. The remaining Truffle Hunts are selling fast with a few places still available. Choose from renowned truffle growers Australian Truffle Traders, Fonty’s Pool Farm, Silverwood Truffles, Timeless Hill and Millgrove Truffles for a truffle hunt. Tickets include shuttle buses from the Festival Village to the truffière.
9. The party: Masterclasses and Wine Shed
With good food, comes good wine, and leading wine expert Paul Edwards from Full Bottle Wine Education and Events will lead the Wine Shed Sessions presented by Winning Appliances & Vintec. The themed Wine Shed Sessions feature six tastings that will explore the best regional wine including texture, science, art and terroir in an informal long table format.
New this year are five intimate and interactive Beer and Spirit Masterclasses held across the weekend in the Jarrah Jacks Bar that will showcase how to perfectly pair delicious local beers with artisanal cheeses, beer with chocolate or whisky with cured meats, as well as experience the unique and interesting flavours of rum and learn about the art of making award-winning gin.
10. The After Party: The After Party
Extend your weekend and watch the sun go down on the ninth annual Truffle Kerfuffle. Gather by the fire, catch up with old friends and new, listen to truffle stories and toe-tap to fireside tunes. Tiny’s head chef Josh Gray will spit roast a sensational, simple and hearty rustic dinner that comes with a glass of something local. Rub shoulders with chefs, producers, locals and visitors and take time to unwind and reflect after an amazing weekend. And yes, of course there’ll be truffles.
Truffle Kerfuffle is held in the most prolific truffle growing region in the Southern Hemisphere and is a true celebration of Manjimup’s prized black truffles, sought-after by chefs across the globe for their consistent high quality, impossible-to-describe taste and heady, earthy aroma
21-23 June 2019
Fonty’s Pool, Manjimup, Western Australia
Disclosure: I’m managing the PR for Truffle Kerfuffle. Regardless, it’s a great food festival and I think you’ll love it as much as I do. Plus, truffles!