Function Number 1217

Truffles at Estelle

Wine and Food Masters: Janet Barton and Faye Bowyer

The truffle season is in full swing in Melbourne and it really is at its peak in August.

Over the past 20 years the truffle industry has grown exponentially but it is not for the faint-hearted growers as starting with inoculated oak and hazelnut tree stock usually yields the first truffles four to seven years after planting with maximum yields at around 12-15 years.  Then there is the training of dogs to find the truffles by detecting the intense aroma emitted by the truffle at maturity plus all the specialist marketing that supports the distribution and sales over the relatively short season each year.  
Six years ago Perigord black truffles were something to enjoy occasionally, at a special dinner or while on holiday in France.  However now truffles are so much more accessible – we have truffle hunts in country Victoria, a Truffle Festival, they can be purchased easily at local markets, there are a range of truffle products infused with their wonderful earthy aroma such as sausages, eggs, biscuits, rice, oil (that has in fact has never really been exposed to a truffle!!).  Plus some amazing chefs have also been planning a range of truffle dinners over the next 6 weeks.  

So when our Wine and Food Masters were planning this Truffle Dinner late last year, we knew that we would have a lot of competition and that we had to go with the best chef available.  Of course we chose Scott Pickett who we have successfully partnered with for many functions now at Estelle, ESP, Saint Crispin, and Matilda.  

This function will be at Estelle.  Estelle was Scott’s first Restaurant and then he opened the wonderful fine dining restaurant called ESP next door.  Last year, Scott redesigned the 2 areas.  While the two former venues have been combined into one under the name of Estelle, there’s still delineation between the new casual bar space and the more formal 65-seat dining room, which are connected by two provincial-style internal windows.  Natural light from the floor-to-ceiling street-front windows now washes over exposed brick and bright green marble.

Scotty has designed a special four course menu which we will be serving alongside some wonderful old wines from our cellar.  He will be looking after our dinner especially on the night and he has promised generous serves of truffles, from mainly the Yarra Valley, infused in to the dishes plus shaved over the top.  This is for all courses including the dessert.  

Just in case you have a birthday coming up….Scott’s second cook book is being released in the next week – Marriage of Flavors

Venue:     Estelle  
243 – 245 High Street, Northcote, Victoria 3070 
Date:        Tuesday 20th August 2019 
Time         7.00 pm for 7.30 pm
Dress:        Smart Casual

Cost:        $265.00 members. $295.00 guests
(Credit cards using PayPal: $274 members, $305 guests)