Chez Francois: A Truffle Dinner
Celebrate the experience, otherwise known as truffles, at Chez Francois fifteenth annual Truffle Dinner. This event only runs from Friday November 2nd through Saturday December 1st. All reservations must be made at least one week in advance as truffles are highly perishable and expensive. For more information about the dinner check out their website here Chez Francois Truffle Dinner.
The menu, prepared by Executive Chef John D’Amico, includes some of the finest truffle inspired dishes. A few dishes from this exquisite dinner are shown here including:
Duo of Scrambled Eggs & Truffles, Truffle Cappuccino
Scrambled brown eggs, seasoned with truffle butter, garnished with black “Burgundy” truffles.
Soufflè au Fromage, Black Truffle and Quail Egg
Ubriaco and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, oven baked in a ramekin and topped with a poached quail egg and freshly shaved black truffles.
Pacifico Striped Bass
Verjus butter sauce, braised fennel garnished with pickled fennel.
Fresh Cod Fritters
Icelandic cod, remoulade sauce.
Egg Fettuccine, White Truffles
Freshly shaved White “Alba” Truffles, served over egg fettuccine with truffle butter and fine herbs.
Also featured in the Truffle Dinner:
Sea Scallop En Croûte, Black Truffle Butter
A Maine diver sea scallop baked in its natural shell, filled with sliced black “Burgundy” truffles and truffle butter, wrapped in a puff pastry.
Char-Grilled & Farmed-Raised Coturnix Quail, Black “Burgundy” Truffle Butter Sauce
Chargrilled quail with a chestnut mousseline, finished with Black “Burgundy” truffle butter sauce.
Roast Tenderloin of Veal, Sauce Périgueux
Tenderloin of Wisconsin Veal, served over a delicata squash, filled with white and black truffle risotto and finished with chanterelle mushrooms and a truffle reduction sauce.
White Truffle Ice Cream
Madagascar French vanilla bean ice cream, flavored with White “Alba” Truffles and truffle honey & served over an almond tuile and seasonal berries.
Truffle Fettuccine photograph by Evan Cecil Photography and Truffle 101 information provided by chezfrancois.com
For the past eighteen years, we have featured truffles on our menu, culminating with our annual Truffle Dinner in late November. This year is no exception as we look forward to the fall truffle season. Below is a brief description of truffles.
Truffles have fascinated people for thousands of years. Their attraction is a tantalizing taste and aroma which, once experienced, is never forgotten. The taste and aroma of commercially-collected truffles are so intense that they are used as a flavoring instead of a separate dish.
The “White Truffle” grows spontaneously in the rich clay soil of the hilly region of the Monferrato in northern Italy. The “Tartufo Bianco” (white truffle) is the most coveted of the underground mushrooms and is often referred to as “The White Diamonds of Piedmont.” It is the crème de la crème of the underground tubers, more delicate and prized than the “Black Truffle.” Currently, a pound of “Black Truffle” fetches $500 to $850 and “White Truffle” between $2,000 to $2,800 per pound, making truffle one the most expensive food items in the world. The name “truffle” has been borrowed to describe small, fancy chocolate candies, another expensive and delicious food. Real “Black Truffle” are roundish, brown, and dirty when they come out of the ground. They are the fruit of the truffle organism, like apples are the fruit of an apple tree.
Truffles, which vary from the size of a nut to an egg, are finicky mushrooms that grow only in loose, humid, sun-soaked soil, particularly beneath elm and oak trees. The harvest season for “Black Truffle” runs from November to the beginning of March, and the season for “White Truffle” from October to the end of December.
So, what exactly does one do with truffle? They are meant to be served uncooked because as their scent is powerful, their flavor is delicate. Mostly they wind up shaved as ambrosial toppings for salad, pasta or risotto. They are also used to infuse oils and butter to compliment the shaved truffle toppings.