The second annual Napa Truffle Festival is scheduled to take place at venues throughout the valley this coming weekend, Jan. 13-16.
“Truffles a la Carte” intends to build on the inaugural event, with scientific cultivation, economic and culinary programs over the span of the four-day festival, including culinary events, food and wine pairings, a truffle orchard excursion with truffle dog training demonstration, and a celebratory truffles and wine dinner prepared by Michelin-starred chefs.
The festival launches Friday night with a reception for guests to hobnob with hosts Robert Chang and Dr. Paul Thomas, of the American Truffle Company, plus truffle expert Ken Frank, executive chef of Napa’s La Toque, as well as keynote speaker Barbara Fairchild and visiting chefs — minus their toques — who have come from as far as Chicago and Italy to prepare the truffles.
Saturday begins with a breakfast and keynote address by distinguished food and travel writer and former editor of Bon Appétit, Barbara Fairchild, followed by scientific-grower programs, a foray to Raymond Vineyards for a tour, tasting and lunch by Napa Valley chef Michel Cornu, and finishing with a truffle orchard tour at Sinskey Vineyards, where truffle dogs will be on hand to sniff things out.
That evening, truffles will be celebrated at the grand Truffles and Wine Dinner at La Toque, featuring a multi-course truffle menu and wine pairing, each course prepared by a Michelin-starred chef — Michael Cimarusti, of Providence in Los Angeles; Suzette Gresham-Tognetti, of Acquerello in San Francisco; Marco Gubbiotti, of La Bastiglia in Spello, Italy; and Andrew Zimmerman, of Sepia in Chicago.
Sunday is devoted to all things wine and culinary at Robert Mondavi Winery — a cooking demo with one of the guest chefs, followed by a tour and tasting, and lunch prepared by winery chef Jeff Mosher.
The festival concludes on Monday with a lively Napa Truffle Festival Marketplace at Oxbow Public Market — from farm, orchard and vineyard to kitchen, table and glass — showcasing local wineries, artisanal vendors and specialty food products.
The Westin Verasa Hotel on McKinstry Street will again serve as the host venue. Winery hosts for this year’s event are Raymond Vineyards and the Robert Mondavi Winery.
Tickets for the festival range in price from $1,250 for the all-inclusive package to $40 for a food and wine tasting ticket at Monday’s festival marketplace event. For a price breakdown and to order tickets, visit napatrufflefestival.com.
The second annual Napa Truffle Festival is produced by the American Truffle Company. The company is part of a global network of truffle orchards in North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. These diverse locations and climates contribute to the firm’s expertise, methodology and extensive data, which it shares with client-partners.
While American Truffle Company has broad experience with many varieties of truffles, its current focus is on two species — Tuber melanosporum, the black truffle also known as the Perigord or winter truffle, and Tuber aestivum/uncinatum, the summer truffle also known as the Burgundy truffle.