Given their limited availability, truffles are often viewed as the pinnacle of luxury dining. Paying homage to the prestigious fungi, Executive Chefs from each of The Star Sydney’s signature restaurants shared their recommendations on the best dishes to enjoy this indulgent ingredient.
Given its rarity, the not-so-humble truffle can often be misunderstood. How do you cook with it? What do you pair with it?
When treated with a bit of care, a decent truffle will add a luxurious flavour with its addictive musky, earthy scent. And while it has traditionally been used largely in French and Italian dishes, in recent years, we’ve seen truffle rise to the fore in dishes from across the world.
At The Star Sydney, winter is truffle month – no matter what restaurant’s kitchen you work in. From Flying Fish to Sokyo, truffles are infused with decadent dishes from each restaurant to add an extra special touch to each meal.
Here, we spoke to Executive Chef’s from across the property to share their tips for expertly infusing your favourite dish with truffle.
“We’ve seen significant growth in Australian truffle yield year on year, along with a rise in quality of the produce. As chefs, this is really exciting as it allows us to get creative with how we use truffles, generously and in unique ways,” Peter Robertson, Executive Chef at Flying Fish and truffle enthusiast explains.
Peter adds, “Rather than adding truffle straight to your seafood dishes, I think truffle works best when added to sides so you can enjoy its complex flavour without overpowering the soft, delicate flavours of the shellfish. I love pairing a freshly grilled lobster with a soft egg-based pasta served with parmesan, pangrattato and generous shavings of truffle. Or try pairing your seasonal fish with a kipfler potato puree infused with butter and truffle.”
Meanwhile, Cucina Porto’s Executive Chef Martino Pulito loves truffles because of their versatility explaining, “Black truffle can be served both raw and cooked, but it’s when cooked truffle truly reveals its characteristics.”
“In Italian cuisine, truffle is widely used in the fillings of ravioli and tortellini and for the bases of sauces. For the colder months, there is nothing I love more than enjoying a creamy gnocchi pasta with truffle – it’s the perfect way to showcase this one-of-a-kind ingredient.”
Meanwhile, Dany Karam, Executive Chef at BLACK Bar & Grill loves truffles because of the dedication to their remarkable sourcing method.
“Truffles are grown underground and are harvested with the aid of truffle dogs, which are able to detect the strong smell of mature truffles underneath the surface of the ground requiring a lot of skill to source this quality fungi.”
For Dany, nothing pairs better with truffles than a premium steak. “At BLACK, we serve truffles with a Rangers Valley Fillet Steak, King Brown Mushrooms and White Polenta. I would encourage at home cooks to consider a thicker steak to soak up the strong flavour of the truffles, while still letting the meats natural aroma shine through.”
For a more unusual use of truffles, Executive Chef Chase Kojima at Sokyo recommends incorporating truffles into ice-cream explaining, “Many don’t realise that truffles can be used in sweet dishes and are the perfect way to finish dinner, but even shaving truffle over vanilla ice cream can be an interesting yet indulgent way to end a meal. Or anything dessert with chestnuts – also a common winter ingredient – pairs perfectly with truffle.”
No matter what style of cuisine you enjoy, there is no dish that doesn’t benefit from adding a touch of truffle to incorporate a level of luxury.