It’s official- Melbourne loves Truffles! 82,500 people came along to the Queen Victoria Market during our free weekend, and thousands more enjoyed a truffle feast, a hunt in country Victoria, or visits to one of our retail pop-up stores. We’re excited to confirm a renewed partnership with Queen Victoria Market and will be returning on 16th and 17th June 2018 - save the dates!
Our free 2017 season opening weekend festival attracted a record-breaking crowd, with visitors savouring a delectable range of fresh truffles, truffle products from Australia and around the world, and a host of truffle dishes – from burgers to pizzas to crème brulees. Some enjoyed sipping on a Truffled Bloody Mary in the Truffle Melbourne Bar while watching Melbourne’s finest chefs on the demonstration stage. The mock truffle dog hunts, where Spice and Arrow (and their new siblings) shared some truffle hunting secrets, were intriguing and popular – everyone just loves these truffle dogs. Others enjoyed the free food photography walks, or sampling truffle products on the Market Truffle Trail – everything from cheeses to truffled sausages.
Truffle Melbourne Members enjoyed our exclusive invitation-only Media Launch in the ornate Dairy Hall at QVM. Chef Scott Pickett prepared exquisite truffle canapés, guests enjoyed truffled gin and tonics, took selfies with the truffle dogs and heard engaging truffle stories from Truffle Melbourne Director Nigel Wood, and Chefs Philippe Mouchel and Scott Pickett. Legendary food writer Rita Erlich shared some great truffle tales and the media exploded with interest – a marvellous night and the perfect way to kick off the season!
Our winter program featured over forty events and attracted thousands of visitors to regional truffle hunts around Victoria and some extraordinary truffle feasts including an indulgent Truffle Lovers’ Weekend at Flinders Hotel in the Mornington Peninsula. In Melbourne, superb multi-course lunches were devoured at Bomba and Ombra, and dinners at Massi and Mister Bianco; both Vue de monde and Philippe Mouchel’s eponymous restaurant hosted their respective annual truffle dinners; while Sagra Restaurant’s Black-on-Black celebrated the truffle throughout July.
Truffle Melbourne’s new retail pop-ups in the CBD introduced truffle delights to the heart of the city, giving Melbournians the opportunity to savour a curated range of the best truffle products from Australia and Europe. Our 260 Collins Street Pop-up was especially popular and the tiny truffle temple became a regular haunt for truffle lovers, featuring strongly in social media throughout the season from May until early September.
Our new online store was a hit too – offering an easy way to enjoy affordable fresh Black or White truffles delivered next day to your door, along with your favourite truffle products. Truffle Melbourne online continues to satisfy customers in need of an out-of-season truffle fix, offering Australia’s widest and tastiest range of truffle oils, sauces, pastes, mustards, salts and preserved truffle. This season our farm – Truffle Paddock in Gippsland – produced some beautifully aromatic fresh truffles that soon found their way to the kitchens at Grossi Florentino, and Vue de monde, among many fine restaurants.
The sandy loam soil profile at the farm produces truffles with rich aroma and an unusual and attractive “flinty” note. Across Australia, 2017 was a superb fresh truffle season and we reckon that over twenty tons of fresh truffle was produced. Soon we’ll be the third largest truffle growing country in the world – lucky us!
Finally, a big thank you to all our supporters in 2017. Without you we couldn’t have delivered the biggest truffle festival weekend outside Europe. We’re all about building new truffle partnerships between chefs, truffle growers and the best artisan producers and finding new and exciting ways to celebrate the fabulous fungus. We’ve loved your feedback and we’re working on some even more exciting experiences to share with you in 2018.