The News Feed: tantalising truffles, monsters in Canberra and hot Peruvian food

By
Claire Davie
Added
07 July, 2014

Snuffle for truffles

‘Tis the season for truffles! Harvest is well underway in Western Australia and New South Wales, with Victoria and Tasmania now following suit. Despite the relative youth of the local truffle industry (the first farmed truffle in Australia was harvested in Tasmania in 1999), Australia has become the fourth-largest truffle producer in the world.

Restaurants and truffières (truffle farms) all over Australia are running special truffle dinners, and the brilliantly named Truffle Kerfuffle festival has just finished in Manjimup, Western Australia. In Victoria, Sara 'the Truffle Hound' Hinchey is hosting truffle masterclasses in July and August at Daylesford’s Lake House and Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation.

For urban truffle lovers, the inaugural Truffle Melbourne festival is being held at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend (12–13 July). The festival will feature live truffle dog hunts, truffle-serving food trucks and demonstrations from chefs that include Shannon Bennett, Guy Grossi, Shane Delia and Philippe Mouchel.

Monster hit in Canberra

The new restaurant getting all the buzz in Canberra is Monster Kitchen and Bar, housed within Hotel Hotel (recently awarded Best Boutique City Hotel at Gourmet Traveller’s Australian Hotel Guide Awards). It’s an all-day eating house, with breakfast kicking off at 7am and a supper menu that runs until 1am. Chef Sean McConnell (younger brother of Melbourne chefs Andrew and Matt McConnell) is helming the kitchen, and menu highlights include yabby jaffles with crème fraîche and horseradish, and eggplant with smoked goat’s curd, katsuobushi and sesame.

Melbourne via deepest, darkest Peru

Every year for several years, local food journalists writing Melbourne restaurant trend pieces have been touting Peruvian as the Next Big Thing but it has never quite materialised. Could that be about to change? Head chef Blair Williams at Argentinean/Peruvian restaurant Piqueos in Carlton North has just returned from a two-week 'eating adventure' in Peru, amping up the menu with new dishes. Peruvian grandmother Carmen Barra has been serving up her native cuisine at Mi Peru D’Carmen in suburban Parkdale since late last year. And opening later this month in the CBD Flinders Lane dining precinct comes new Peruvian restaurant Pastuso from head chef Alejandro Saravia (former chef and co-owner of Morena in Sydney).

Claire Davie writes the blog Melbourne Gastronome. She tweets @melbgastronome and her favourite thing to cook right now is Daniel Wilson’s Spiced tuna tartare with shiso, yuzu custard, radish & rice crackers.



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