Diamond of the Kitchen & the Plate: The Truffle Festival

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Le Meridien’s (soon to be Sheraton Grand) is hosting a Truffle Festival from 7th to 15th October 2016 at their Italian restaurant, Bene under the expertise of Mrs. Silvia Landucci (The Truffle Encyclopedia) & Chef Roberto Boggio. And the major highlight of the festival is literally the ‘diamond of the kitchen’ – ‘Truffle’ 

The last I remember about hearing or even seeing the application of Truffle was in Masterchef America Junior where all the kids made weird faces listening to the word itself! And Gordon Ramsay specifically told them that truffle oil is used when the dish is almost cooked (mostly at the end).

Truffles are of various kinds – Black truffle, white truffle, winter black truffle, winter white truffle, summer black truffle, summer black truffle, etc.

On an exclusive invite by Le Meridien Pune, I was invited for a sneak peek of the same and 4 signature dishes were presented to us. Let me tell you before going ahead –

  • The words ‘smooth’ & ‘silky’ shall be used repetitively
  • Choose 1 main course & pair it with an antipasti, soup, salad and dessert to create your own 5 course meal or just eat anything from the menu
  • A glass of Sula Reisling or Sula Dindori Reserve will be offered as well (I choose the white one)

The dishes presented to us were the following-

  • Fettuccine with prawns and white truffle
  • Potato & Leek Soup
  • Roast Chicken with Black truffle reduction
  • Pesche Al Forno

Before the dishes were served to us, Chef Roberto made all of us taste the purest (and aromatic) truffle oil from Italy & some truffle honey as well. The oil taste remained until the end of the dinner and the truffle honey was perfectly sweet. Now dishes time!

Fettuccine with prawns and white truffles
There is always a difference when something is handmade and something is machine made, same goes with pasta as well. Handmade pasta is beautiful, fresh, silky, smooth and that’s exactly what was served to us. Perfectly cooked fettuccine with plump prawns and tomatoes made the dish Masterchef quality. I actually wanted more of it!

Potato & Leek Soup
Who would have thought a hardcore non-vegetarian like me would actually enjoy a simple yet complex vegetarian soup? But strange things do happen.  This silky smooth, super versatile vegetarian soup was perfect for the night.

Roast Chicken with Black Truffle Reduction
A large portion of chicken, grated cheese, spinach, asparagus, carrots, onions & mashed potatoes = Recipe for success. A perfect portion of perfectly cooked chicken, moist in the middle and the mashed potatoes had no lumps at all. The vegetables were crunchy and onions were caramalized. Ah!  A beautifully succulent meal with the truffles adding to the aroma!

Pesche Al Forno
Imagine a dessert with layers of chocolate, a fruit and alcoholic based foam ….no no, not a Heston Blumenthal dessert but Chef Roberto made us this dessert which was one layer of chocolate along with one layer of pear. Both baked together till the time that chocolates goes all gooey on the plate with amaretto spiked foamy sabayon was the best end anyone anyone could ask for. The dessert angels did descend!

From a food lover to all, do go for this truffle festival and enjoy authentic & new food, flavours & ingredients to the fullest.

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