Once considered a European rarity, truffles are in the midst of a new renaissance in the United States, with Oregon’s fungus specialists at the forefront of the growing luxury food industry. For everyone from truffle oil dabblers to black gold hunters, we’ve compiled a handy guide to this year’s annual Oregon Truffle Festival (January 15-18).
Wondering how to cook with Oregon truffles (or more practically, truffle oil and salt)?
Thursday, January 15: “Better Together” Black & White Dinner Series. Jason French (Ned Ludd), Vitaly Paley (Paley’s Place, Imperial), and Sarah Schafer (Irving Street Kitchen) will host dinners in their respective restaurants featuring Oregon’s black and white winter truffles. $75 per person with drinks.
For beginners looking to dip into the wider world of truffles, The Oregon Truffle Marketplace on Sunday January 18 is the perfect gateway. The sprawling marketplace includes truffle tastings, truffle dog demonstrations, and truffle cookery demonstrations. $15 per person, $22 with wine tasting (and you get to keep your logoed wine glass)!
For a glimpse of what Northwest chefs can do with their native truffles, check out A Walk on the Wild Side* on Friday, January 16. Eight local chefs, from Olympic Provision’s Elias Cairo to James Beard winner Jason Wilson (Crush in Seattle) will cook up truffle-centric dishes at this walk around dining gala, with Oregon beer, wine and spirits included. $165 per person
Ambitious foragers can get a full weekend of truffle exposure with the “All In” Weekend Experience for Gourmands. This package includes: A Walk on the Wild Side, continental breakfast with a dog-led truffle hunt, a winery luncheon, Better Together: Truffles + Oregon Pinot in McMinnville, and The Oregon Truffle Marketplace. Grand total: $550 per person.
Advanced Truffle Hogs
If you’re already in the fancy fungus industry, or you think your next profession might involve a pig on a leash, head down to Eugene for the big leagues. For a price, you’ll be privy to the Truffle Grower’s Forum (experts speak on truffle science, cultivation, farming, and marketing), Truffle Dog Training (turn that useless mutt into a money-maker!), and the first-ever American Truffle Dog Championship: The Joriad—yes, it’s a real thing!|
*Stay tuned for a giveaway in early January for two exclusive passes to Friday’s “A Walk on the Wild Side” gala event!