Ten things you need to know about Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup.
Australian Truffle Festival
Truffle Kerfuffle held 22 – 24 June 2018 celebrates one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients, fresh black truffles and will be held just minutes from where they are unearthed in Manjimup. Here are ten things you need to know about the festival and the prized nuggets of “black gold”.
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1.Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup – the real stars: Truffles and Southern Forest produce
At the epicentre of Truffle Kerfuffle is the true star of the show, the Tuber melanosporum, otherwise known as the black Périgord truffle, which is prized for its rarity and beguiling aroma. Truffles are affectionately known as “black gold”, a reference to their value, fetching prices between $2 and $3 a gram. Their season is short from June to August, and you only need a small amount to transform a dish from ordinary to sublimely extraordinary. Truffle Kerfuffle chefs will show you how in the free demonstrations in the Festival Village. There’s no better place to buy freshly unearthed truffles than at the marketplace at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.
2. The heart of the action – the Festival Village
The beautiful setting at Fonty’s Pool near magical Manjimup offers an amazing truffle experience and is the perfect place to smell, taste, buy and learn about black truffle and Southern Forests wine and produce. There’s free tastings, free cooking demonstrations, truffle dog demos, children’s activities, a chance to chat to producers, farmers and wine makers, live music and much more. There’s even a chance to win fresh truffle by playing Truffle Bocce and Tombola. The Festival Village is the vibrant hub of Truffle Kerfuffle weekend and offers a unique chance to indulge in black truffles at their freshest, minutes from where they are unearthed. The Festival Village is at Fonty’s Pool open 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35 and include all weekend access, a free tote bag and tasting glass – more info here.
3. Take your experience to the next level
Indulge a little and have world-renowned chefs prepare decadent truffle dishes at one of the many events on during Truffle Kerfuffle. There are a few extra tickets just released for the Hunter’s Breakfast with Scott Brannigan, a new Fervor lunch and masterclass on Friday (BYO), Dark Delights Dinner with George Cooper on Saturday night, Foragers Seasonal Truffle Dinner with Sophie Zalokar also on Saturday night, and an extra truffle hunt added to Sunday. At the Festival Village there are a few spots available at The Shed wine sessions and a couple of seats around the table at The Chef’s Cabin series with Mark Best, Bruno Loubet and Marianne Lumb.
4. Manjimup produces more truffles than the rest of Australia combined
Almost 90% of black truffles produced in Australia come from Manjimup. As the largest producer in the southern hemisphere the region has secured its place on the global culinary map. You see, Truffle Kerfuffle really is in the heart of Australian truffle country.
5. Truffle hunts
Fossicking through forests of hazelnut or oak tress with clever canines hunting for truffles is a quintessential truffle experience. The Truffle Kerfuffle hunts are selling fast but there are a few places still available. Choose from renowned truffle growers Oak Valley Truffles, Australian Truffle Traders or with chef and truffle grower David Coomer at his truffière. Most tickets include shuttle buses from the Festival Village to the truffle orchard and self-drive options are available on the Friday.
6. The best fresh produce
The Southern Forests is a food producer’s dream and in the Festival Village you’ll have the chance to taste your way through the region. The pristine environment, rich loamy soils and crisp mornings produce the best quality fruit and veg including avocados, finger limes, potatoes, apples and the prized Bravo apple, pumpkins, persimmons and stone fruit, in fact, the region produces over 50 different types of fruit, vegetable and nuts as well as milk, beef, marron and a host of other food types. And let’s not forget the reason we’re here, the revered black truffle.
7. Free kids cooking classes and activities Saturday and Sunday
There’s heaps to keep children entertained at Truffle Kerfuffle on both Saturday and Sunday. At the Truffle Experience kids will be able to look at a truffle through a microscope and learn about the science behind great truffles, there’s a drawing station with worksheets, Kids Cooking School with Sophie Budd powered by Winning Appliances which is free with festival entry, just put your name down for the time slot on arrival. Times are 11am Southern Forests Sliders (12-16years); 12.30 Karri Country Gnocchi (6-12 years); 2pm Bravo Apple Fritters (6-12years); 3.30pm Potato Play Dough (little ones). This is a hands-on class and a parent is required to attend.
8. Truffle Donut
Yes, you read that right. The clever folk from The Heritage have created a delectable donut with truffle infused crème patisserie, Southern Forests honey and Pottinger truffle. Enough said, get in mah belly now. Only available at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.
9. Truffle Negroni
Don’t miss the experiencing possibly the best cocktail ever invented, a Walnut and Truffle Negroni at the Campari Bar at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village. They’ll also be serving up classic Italian cocktails including the Classic Negroni, a decadent drink in its own right with bitterness from Campari mixed with the sweetness from vermouth giving it a rich flavour profile. Our tip is to indulge a little and pimp your drink with walnut infused gin, dark chocolate bitters and finish with a garnish of fresh truffle shaving. Walnut and Truffle Negroni, keeping you warm this winter and only at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.
10. Truffle Kerfuffle attracts big names
Jack Stein, Paul West, James Viles, Anna Gare, Matthew Evans and Guy Grossi have appeared at Truffle Kerfuffle in the past and this year the line up is more impressive than ever before. Guy Grossi returns this year and joins Australian legend Mark Best, Sam Aisbett (Whitegrass, Singapore / Australia), Marianne Lumb (Marianne’s, London UK), Bruno Loubet (UK/Australia), Scott Brannigan (Bread in Common, Perth), Tony Howell (Cape Lodge, South West), Paul Iskov, Fervor (South West), Aaron Carr (Yarri, South West), George Cooper (Food by The Chef, South West), David Coomer (Southern Forests / Perth), Sophie Zalokar, (Foragers, South West), Sue Hutchins (Shadow Wine Bar, Perth) as well as wine expert Rachael Niall (Budburst Bar, Perth), chocolatier Sue Lewis (Perth) and food journalists Max Veenhuyzen (Broadsheet, Qantas, Gourmet Traveller) and John Lethlean (The Australian).
Bonus: Know the lingo
Truffière – the French name for a place where truffles are grown. It is pronounced TRUE-fee-air. If you can’t find the grave è in Word, it is ok to write it ‘truffiere’ or call it a truffle orchard or truffle patch. But there’s no such word as ‘truffery’ or ‘trufferie’ in any dictionary.
Truffier – the person who grows truffles is, in French, a truffier without an accented e, pronounced TRUE-fee-er but they call themselves truffle growers.
Date 22-24 June 2018
Location Fonty’s Pool, Manjimup, Western Australia
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Feast & Fire, Friday 22nd June, Ticketed – SOLD OUT
Join Guy Grossi, as he kicks off this years festival with a long table celebration at Feast & Fire.
Truffle Hunter’s Breakfast, Saturday 23rd June – SOLD OUT
Scott Brannigan of Bread in Common takes the reins of Truffle Hunter’s Breakfast
A Winter’s Night with Sam Aisbett, Saturday 23rd June, Ticketed
- A sumptuous dinner starring freshly harvested truffles at The Truffle & Wine Co. just minutes from Fonty’s Pool.
- Chef: young Aussie superstar Sam Aisbett of Singapore’s Whitegrass, was awarded a Michelin star in 2017
- Formerly Head Chef at Quay in Sydney
Chef’s Cabin Series, Ticketed
Intimate cooking demonstrations and tastings with:
- Australian legend Mark Best, formerly of three-hatted Sydney restaurant, Marque will spearhead a series of intimate food, wine and masterclass experiences. Best is in the world’s highest echelon of chefs with Marque in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
- Marianne Lumb of London’s Marianne Restaurant is her intimate 14-seat venue that has been rated as one of the UK’s best dining experiences. Lumb is a self-confessed truffle obsessive, using the wide spectrum of seasonal truffles and having a particular love for Manjimup’s finest export.
- Bruno Loubet, a luminary of the London restaurant scene who has won and held Michelin stars as well as running very successful restaurants in London and Brisbane. Recently relocating to Brisbane, the Bordeaux born chef is excited to travel to the heart of Australian truffle country. SOLD OUT
The Marketplace, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June, Free with Festival Entry Pass
The heart of the festival. A bounty of truffles, gourmet food (hot and cold), premium wine, cider and local produce on offer to eat straight away or enjoy at home. Campfire Kitchen returns with pop up dining experiences from some of WA’s top restaurants and bars
- Cooking School with Sophie Budd of Taste Budds, family-friendly
- The Truffle Experience- meet growers and learn the secrets of truffles
- Truffle Bocce and poolside games to win fresh truffles
- Truffle Dog demonstrations – watch the clever canines find truffles
- Live music all weekend on two stages
Dining pop ups from three of Perth’s top restaurants will be in full swing in the gourmet Marketplace:
- Young George chef Melissa Palinkas
- Heritage Wine Bar’s chef Matt Carulei
- Kiren Mainwaring’s BRAVO™ Kitchen will showcase the versatile and premium apple.
Shed Wine Sessions with Rachael Niall, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June, Ticketed / Free with Festival Entry Pass
- Discover the Southern Forests best; expert guidance through the Manjimup and Pemberton wine regions diverse varietals
- Wine sessions with Rachel Niall include up to six tastings in an informal long table format that include Pinot Rising, Best of the Region (reds), Best of the Region (whites) and A Good Match (food & wine pairing).
Truffle Hunts, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June, Ticketed
- Meet truffle dogs, our festival scene-stealers. See them work on the famed orchards of Manjimup. A rare chance to have a go at unearthing a truffle yourself and glimpse the mystery that surrounds this prized ingredient.
From the Earth, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June, Free with Festival Entry Pass
- Head to the demonstration tent to see chefs, truffle growers and farmers as they’re put to work in cooking demonstrations that celebrate black truffles alongside seasonal produce, with Cape Lodge consultant chef Tony Howell as MC.
NEW Sunday Brunch with Sue Hutchins, Sunday 24th June, Ticketed
- A delicious truffle-laden feast with freshly unearthed truffle along with plenty of sparkling wine and a beautiful outlook over Fonty’s Pool.
Other new satellite events include:
- Fervor Dinner and Masterclass,
- Dinner of Dark Delights with George Cooper,
- Seasonal Truffle Dinner at Foragers
- A 4WD day of adventure with a Southern Forests Discovery Tour.
About Truffle Kerfuffle
The festival is a weekend long celebration of truffle season at the heart of Australian truffle country. Join truffle hunters to search out prized truffles, visit the Marketplace for a taste of the region or get your truffle fix at special dining events. Indulge in fireside cooking sessions in the Chef’s Cabin, catch free demonstrations and entertainment on the festival grounds; discover the farmers, producers, winemakers and community that make up the Southern Forests; or simply soak up the laid back atmosphere. Sunday is community day with discounted entry and free admission for under 16s; an experience for foodies of all ages. From its initial beginnings in 2011, Truffle Kerfuffle (a not for profit community event) has grown into a highlight of the Australian tourism calendar.
The black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) is prized for its rarity and beguiling aroma, about 80 per cent of premium black truffles produced in Australia come from the Southern Forests. As the largest producer in the southern hemisphere the region has secured its place on the global culinary map.
Travel to Manjimup
The Southern Forests is a scenic 3.5-hour drive from Perth or 90 minutes from Margaret River. The undulating landscape is a mix of ancient Karri forests, rivers and farmland, bordered by the Southern Ocean.
Fonty’s Pool Chalet and Caravan Park is home to Truffle Kerfuffle and the perfect option for festival goers.
In addition there are luxury and budget accommodation options available in Manjimup and surrounding towns of Pemberton, Northcliffe, Bridgetown, Nannup and Margaret River.
For the best prices on a choice accommodation
Accommodation in the area is limited – so be quick!
Truffle Kerfuffle takes place at Fonty’s Pool amidst the vibrant horticultural neighbourhood of Seven Day Road. The pool is the legacy of Italian Archimedes Fontanini MBE who landed in Fremantle in 1904 with just 12s.6p ($1.25) in his pocket. His family founded a farm at a time when the trip to Bridgetown for supplies took three days by horse and cart. What began as a stream fed dam for his children to swim in, became so popular locally that he rebuilt it and opened to the public in 1925. Nearly an acre in size, the pool has a winter flow rate of 44,000 litres per hour. Fonty’s Pool is now owned and managed by Jeremy and Kelly Beissel and their young family, who with assistance of National Trust of Australia and encouragement of the Fontanini family, restored it to it’s former glory.
For the Full Programme
Footnote: Thanks to Dianne Bortoletto for information supplied regarding The Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup. Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post for which I stand to earn a small commission but at no cost to you.