The Oregon Truffle Festival is back! For the unacquainted, the event—which runs January 20–29, 2017—is one of the few truffle celebrations in the United States, and allegedly the first offered in an English-speaking country—Italy, we’re glaring at you. Now in its 12th year, OTF is a gala for food lovers (major names in food will attend this year to cook with Oregon’s musky treasures), but also for serious enthusiasts and industry folks, from dog-led truffle hunting to a two-day truffle growers’ forum.
Splurge on one of the many weekend packages, or go a la carte. Whatever you do, make it snappy—the festival sells out quick. Here are three events we’re particularly excited about.
1. The food nerd inside of us is titillated by “Truffles Deconstructed, or Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Truffles but Didn’t Know Whom to Ask.” Harold McGee, the godfather of modern food science will be leading the fray, along with David Arnold (Museum of Food & Drink), and moderator Peter Meehan, an editor at Lucky Peach. Best of all? Former Castagna chef Matthew Lightner (who went on to launch two-Michelin-starred New York restaurant, Atera) will be handing out little truffle-spiked bites throughout.
2. The Grand Truffle Dinner: a $225 fete for 300 guests. Sounds kind of nightmarish, right? Wrong. Six courses of black and white truffles come from some of our favorite local chefs, and two out-of-towners: Seattle’s James Beard-winner Renee Erickson, and San Fran’s offal-loving Chris Cosentino. By way of example, one festival event last year featured a black truffle ice cream with candied apples and white truffle-cherry stone gummy bears from Salt & Straw's Tyler Malek. Awesome.
3. If your dog isn’t exactly the truffle-hunting-type, you might check out the Forage & Feast in Yamhill County. Someone else’s dog leads the hunt, followed by a truffled luncheon from Irving Street Kitchen’s Sarah Schafer and Ponzi Vineyard’s Thomas Ghinazzi at one of the region’s top wineries.
The Oregon Truffle Festival runs January 20–29, 2017. Check out the festival's website for the full schedule.