Saturday, November 12, 2011
This time of the year it's all about the white truffle.
The pungent fungus makes the simplest dish -- risotto with parmesan or even a fried egg -- taste fantastic.
And this coming Sunday will see a major showdown to see who has the most moolah to buy the biggest white truffle this year.
The 13th Worldwide White Truffle of Alba Auction will be held at Castello di Grinzane, a castle in Piedmont, Italy and it will be connected by satellite in Hong Kong where truffle lovers (or ego trippers) can make their bids by a live internet link-up to Island Tang in Central.
To celebrate white truffle season, three chefs will create some dishes around the pungent fungus. Chef Umberto Bombana of 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, Albert Au, executive chef of Island Tang, and Hiroyuki Saotome who is executive chef of Wagyu Kaiseki Den will cook up a six-course menu.
The dinner that evening which starts at 6pm will include white truffles with Miyazaki beef, wok-fried hairy crab, braised lobster in truffled Kyoto white miso paste, clay pot chicken rice and fassone veal.
In the past several years Hong Kong has had the successful bidder and last year wine critic Jeannie Cho Lee won the auction with a record bid of HK$1.12 million for a 900-gram white truffle.
Even better is that the money goes to charity. This year it goes to Changing Young Lives Foundation, which provides welfare programmes to underprivileged children in Hong Kong and China.
So! Let the competition begin so that the kids can win big.
But if you can't make those uber bids, that's OK -- you can still indulge in white truffles until the end of the month.