Review of “A Taste of Australian Forest Treasures with Lowes Mount Truffles” 13 August, InterContinental Sydney
by Sam Giddings, Chancelier of the Australian National Bailliage and Vice-Échanson of the NSW Regional Bailliage
Two things in my mind that always distinguish a Chaîne function are “the experience” and “camaraderie”. Both were well evident at the Australian Forest Treasures, our Diner Amical ably prepared by our Vice Conseiller Culinaire, Tamas Pamer, Executive Chef of the InterContinental Sydney.
Members and their guests were treated to a ‘live cooking’ canapé station, ably led by Tamas before proceeding inside to the Bridge Room.
The room was beautifully decorated with a hollow table, decorated with Australian native greenery, including tree branches. Placed at strategic points around the table were whole Mount Lowes black truffles in clear stoppered glass jars – allowing Members and guests to quite literally see the real thing and inhale the unique aroma that makes this ingredient so sought after worldwide.
A total of 27 Members and guests attended this event.
Black truffle is rightly spoken of with awe as a culinary ingredient. Most would experience black truffle in a single course in any one meal. For this Chaîne event “the experience” was more than delivered. The versatility of black truffle was demonstrated in every single course, even in the butter served in special jars with the bread on the side plates!
The first course – Pan Seared Scallop with truffle cracker, Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish and beach banana was exquisite. The flavour of the scallop was complimented but not over powered by the truffle. The wine match of Leeuwin Estate Riesling worked very well.
This was followed by Confit Marron Crayfish, with truffled celeriac and wattle seed. The plated presentation of this course was a showpiece and the crayfish superb. Brokenwood’s Hunter Valley Semillon provided an excellent match.
The next course, Slow Cooked Pork Belly, with truffle, chicharon & muntries was my personal favourite. The pork belly was cooked to perfection and the unique flavour of the black truffle matched this dish perfectly. Ably complemented by Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley.
Following this was Hay Smoked Tajima Beef Fillet with truffle mash, parsley root and mustard seed. The truffle added a unique zest to this dish, complimented with a wonderful red wine – Barbera from the Hunter Valley
Dessert is not something you would normally think of when it comes to black truffles. But Tamas surpassed all expectations with his Confit Chestnut, truffle ice cream – yes there is such a thing – compressed persimmon, juniper berries and meringue. I have never had a dessert like this before. The flavours matched brilliantly and its presentation was superb. This course more than any other highlighted the “versatility” of black truffle.
Mid-way through the meal Jörg and Tamas conducted a live “question and answer” session on stage where Tamas explained the development of his own culinary experience with black truffle, and their efforts and commentary were recognised by enthusiastic applause of Members and their guests.
Camaraderie was clearly evident throughout the meal with many moving around the table to share their enjoyment of this unique experience with others.
For a number of our guests, this was their first opportunity to experience a Chaîne event and their enjoyment was clear for all to see.
My congratulations to Tamas and Jörg and their team at the InterContinental for delivering a superb Chaine experience!
Vive la Chaine!
A postscript – our dessert course was matched with Bimbadgen Estate’s superb Botrytis Semillon – a fact very appropriately highlighted by our Bailli Jörg to remind Members and their guests of our next function – the August 30 Ordre Mondial (OMGD) at Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley.