Sustainability was a key priority for the organisers of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) this year. The menu produced by BAFTA’s head chef Anton Manganaro and Paul Bates, the executive head chef of Mayfair’s Grosvenor House Hotel, used seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, and included two vegan courses. Our truffles were part of the main course, thyme-basted Shropshire chicken served with chestnut mushroom barley with a ballotine of Potash Farm walnuts, Dorset truffle-creamed parsnips and roasted beets.
A video featuring The English Truffle Company has had over 5 million hits since it was launched around a month ago. Produced by Business Insider, an American financial and business news website, the video is the latest in their “So Expensive” series. The series has looked at a range of expensive commodities including gold, insulin, oysters, champagne, pearls, Mānuka honey and now truffles. In the video they join us searching for and talking about truffles. You could do this too, join us on one of our truffle hunting experience days.
On one of our a “rent a truffle hound” jobs in a Surrey truffle orchard we found a 606g (1.34 lb) monster truffle (Autumn truffle – Tuber uncinatum) as well as a number of more normal sized ones. This beat our long-standing previous “personal best” of 413g (0.91l lb) that was found in a Dorset woodland. The truffle orchard at the High Clandon Vineyard comprises around 50 hazel trees that have been inoculated with the truffle fungus.
We were delighted that our truffles recently appeared as part of a dish prepared in the final of the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) competition. Siôn Hughes of The Carden Park Hotel used them in his starter – mushroom arancini with a black truffle mayonnaise. Our English Black truffles are sold to the trade and public.
It was pleasure to recently meet Gareth Renowden, author of The Truffle Book. Gareth is an ex-pat, now living in Waipara, New Zealand, where he is a writer, photographer and truffle grower. His farm is the only one in New Zealand to produce four species of truffle: the Périgord black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, the bianchetto white truffle, Tuber borchii, the Burgundy truffle, Tuber aestivum/uncinatum, and the winter black truffle, Tuber brumale he grows are used by New Zealand’s finest chefs and restaurants. We lunched, talked truffles and went truffle hunting. Gareth got the best truffle – over 200 grams!