Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the dinner by Hyatt Hotel Canberra, however all opinions are my own.
Here in Canberra, winter is synonymous with couch time, netflix and foggy weather. But what the Canberra food community will also tell you is that winter is synonymous with truffle season! The Canberra region has the perfect climate for truffle growing and with a handful (or maybe two) of truffle farms close by, the fruits are plentiful.
Truffles are the ‘diamond of the kitchen’ and for good reason. Their pungent aroma is so distinctive, you can smell them from a mile away and you only need a tiny grating to transform a complete dish. The best way to enjoy truffle is of course to enjoy it through food.
Every year, Canberra hosts the ‘Canberra Truffle Festival’. The good thing is the season lasts quite a long time (generally from June to August), giving ample opportunity to attend a variety of culinary events.
Last Friday 28 July, I had the pleasure of attending a Veuve Clicquot truffle degustation dinner in the Hyatt Hotel Canberra‘s Federation Ballroom. The Hyatt Hotel team coupled with Veuve Clicquot and Macenmist Truffles hosted an amazing signature event, which over 100 people attended from all across Australia.
I had no doubt that the Hyatt Hotel and Veuve Clicquot would put on a spectacular event. Every single aspect of the dinner was executed to perfection and the attention to detail was incredible: the table settings, the lighting, the entertainment.
The theatre kitchen was a great source of entertainment, watching the chefs, talking to them and admiring the complex dishes coming together – the whole thing was like clockwork.
We started off the dinner with a truffle infused butter and freshly baked bread.
First course: Poached lobster tail, lavender scallops, truffle cauliflower custard, earl grey gel, curry butter. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut
Second course: Venison loin, pickled fig, fermented radicchio with pear, celeriac puree, truffle chocolate. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot 2008 Vintage Blanc
Third course: Roast quail, jerusalem artichoke, foie gras morel, squid ink, black truffle puree, toasted chestnut. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot Non Vintage Rose’
Fourth course: Sous vide of wagyu brief, purple potato, baby vegetables, truffle tapioca crisp, truffle jus. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rose’
Fifth course: Burning chestnut parfait log, black truffle baked meringue, pistachio moss, chocolate tulles, armagnac flambe’. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot Rich infused with early grey tea
Sixth course: Triple cream brie. Paired with a Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut
My favourite dish had to be the wagyu beef, melt in your mouth meat with a delicious crunchy truffle cracker. The brie had to be a close second. My favourite drink of the evening was the Veuve Clicquot Rich served over ice – the earl grey infusion was a delicious addition.
It was lovely to sit amongst the organisers and talk to Barbara from Macenmist Truffles, MJ from Veuve Clicquot and the Hyatt team. I definitely learnt a lot about truffles, champagne and their pairings with food.