France Recipes Travel

Umami of Burgundy: The Truffle Farm

Umami of Burgundy: The Truffle Farm
By Sara Boyce

Bonjour and greetings from one of your foreign correspondents, on the ground in France.

The plan was that Mark Donato would meet up at Charles de Gaulle airport Monday morning and go directly to Beaune with one goal: meet Denis Toner (4 hours south of Paris) for a very special luncheon – a Truffle Luncheon (oui, it deserves capitals).

As if Sheila Egan (of Swain’s Travel, Nantucket) had coordinated it for us, our two planes landed within minutes of each other. With the precision of a Swiss watch (or at least an American one), Mark and I met up right on schedule. Maps and GPS in hand, we beat a fairly direct route south, with only one rushed stop for gas, caffeine and a quick toothbrush on the way.

Denis and Susan met us on the highway and we followed our escort car through the sun dappled fields (alternating between kale, chard and vineyards) to our destination. We were a bit delayed, so did not get to hunt (oui, we were going to hunt) the truffles. Instead, we were greeted by our host, Thierry Bezeux and his dog Elfe who hunts the truffles, aka Truffe de Bourgogne.

Thierry and his wife Christine have developed the truffle business and run the restaurant, “L’Or des Valouis”, specializing in truffles from Bourgogne. Every item on the menu featured truffles (shaved truffles, truffle sauce, truffle flavored digestif, or truffle infused alcohol). And perhaps, just perhaps, there were the appropriate wines to accompany each course…

Hmmm… I think I am going to like this trip… Bon appetit!

The menu:

Aperitif
Ratatruffe (a special truffle infused liqueur, based on a grape spirit Ratafia de Bourgogne).

Trust me: it’s delicious.
Sausage truffle Bourgogne
Truffle Bruchetta

Entree
Terrines of Rabbit, Guinea Fowl, and Chicken (all with Truffe de Bourgogne)

Plat Chaud
Chicken Breast with “Gratin Dauphinois” (translation: heavenly potatoes)
Sauce Creme Truffle Bourgogne ***

Fromage
Chevre with truffle honey
Fresh cheese with Truffe de Bourgogne

Dessert
Profiteroles with chocolate and truffle ice cream

*** Sauce Creme Truffle Bourgogne

(amounts are approximate, but well worth searching for the perfect proportions.)

Dissolve a couple spoons of flour into warm olive oil in a pan.
Add about 3 cups heavy cream

(Christine tells me, “beaucoup, beaucoup”.  Hmmm.. Dieters and the Faint of Heart: Beware.)
2-3 teaspoons of truffle alcohol and 3 (ish) teaspoon-fuls of shaved truffles Salt & pepper to taste

All items can be found on Thierry & Christine’s website: www.truffedebourgogne.fr

A Bientot.

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The entrance to L’Or des Valois, farm for Truffe de Bourgogne

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Thierry and his truffle hunting chien, Elfe

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We were the sole table, with a private Truffe de Bourgogne tour and specially cooked meal

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Denis Toner, Mark Donato

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Close up of a basket of truffles – 2 days worth of hunting by Thierry and his dog, Etouffe.

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Apertif

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Entree

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Plat Chaud

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Dessert

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Thierry & Christine’s Store

Sara Boyce is a Freelance Writer, Food, Wine, Travel enthusiast.  Her constant search for Umami in Life led her to Burgundy for the 5 year anniversary of the Jumelage (twinning) of Nantucket and her sister city, Beaune.  This article first appeared in Mahon About Town’s October 28, 2011 edition

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