"The Diamonds of Périgord"

A Black Truffle Dinner by Chef Chris Salans at Mozaic Restaurant - Ubud

Taking part in Goût de France | Good France, a gourmet festival held across the globe to celebrate French gastronomy, Mozaic Restaurant hosted, Thursday, March 21, a Black Truffle Dinner, using the legendary Périgord fungus on every course, from amuse-bouches to dessert.

What makes the tuber melanosporum aka the Périgord truffle so special and prized by chefs and foodies throughout the world?

Historically as well as currently, the most famous black truffle of all is from a specific part of France called the Périgord. In fact, these fresh French winter black truffles are often called the "Diamonds of Périgord". And here is why. Truffles are almost impossible to cultivate, growing beneath the surface of the soil among the root systems of specific types of trees, primarily oak and hazelnut, and develop a symbiotic relationship with those trees. Harvesting them requires specifically trained dogs. Pigs were used but they kept eating the truffles, whereas dogs are happy to exchange their findings for a slice of saucisson!

The Diamonds of Perigord aka Perigord Black Truffle

Truffles are utterly intoxicating. Tastewise, “mushroomy” doesn’t quite cut it. They are characterized by a delicate aroma and an earthy flavour reminiscent of a rich chocolate. Imagine that deep musky fragrance of a brand-new leather jacket. Now add garlic, softened slowly and lovingly in a whole heap of butter. Finally, yes, they’re a bit of “mushroomy” scent. Very earthy, pungent and lusciously funky.

If you bite into it, you might not be impressed as the flavour comes from having the truffle heated, which is why truffle shavings are usually added to the top of warm dishes, where the fragrance and flavour will carry into the dish. Let the magic begin!

Mushroom Cornetto with Truffle Cream

Poached Eggs & Whipped Cream with Kenari Nut & Black Truffle

First thing first. Mozaic’s legendary Chouquette with Truffle cream, a glass of Champagne Blanc de Blanc with 2 amuses-bouches; Poached Eggs & Whipped Cream with Kenari Nut & Black Truffle and the Mushroom Cornetto with Truffle Cream. Great mise en bouche! The first course was the Freshwater Yabbies with Black Truffle, Radish Kecicang & Grilled Watermelon. Never had these crustaceans before but I loved the mild flavour of it combined with the red radish infused with torch ginger flower sauce and the black truffle.

Freshwater Yabbies with Black Truffle, Radish Kecicang & Grilled Watermelon

Coral Trout & Black Truffle en Papillotte

Then came the Coral Trout & Black Truffle en Papillotte. As soon as Chef Chris Salans opened the foil, at the table, and added his mixture of freshly grated truffle, nuts and herbs, a beautiful musk surrounded the room. The fish steamed inside the bag with white wine & herbs to lock in the flavours, kept its moisture, resulting in silky meat and melting texture.

Beef Tenderloin, Seared Foie Gras, Sauce Perigueux

Truffle is rich in umami so works incredibly well with beef, even more with Tenderloin topped with Seared Foie Gras and Sauce Perigueux! This sauce is one of those great classics of French gastronomic heritage. Hat off to Chef Salans for mastering this old-fashion recipe and its delicate preparation. Beautiful character. The taste of truffle was much so evident in this dish because of the infused sauce, and the crunchy black truffle-tempe crumble. We enjoyed it immensely.

Brillat-Savarin à la Truffe

Since this dinner was a tribute to French gastronomy, cheese had to be on the menu. But not any cheese. Brillat-Savarin à la truffes, s’il vous plait! A classic French triple cream cheese made even more voluptuary by a generous layer of black truffles in the middle. Sinful yet very, very special. To enhance even more the debauchery of this superb cheese, it came with a table-side truffle shaving service. It was like eating whipped cream with truffles. Pure indulgence.

Most say truffle is a delicate blend of "chocolate and earth". So what else than a dessert blending both, inspired by Patissier Balazs Enzsol. First of all, the visual was surprising but nothing less than sensational. Yet, shocking for some. Picture that. A real chicken foot on bone covered with 3 layers of chocolate - 66% Chocolate-black truffle cream, 32% chocolate-foie gras crèmeux and 72% spiced-chocolate-chicken mousse - served with Guinness reduction-beetroot coulis and raspberry sorbet! Excuse my French but you need some serious balls to present something like this. It looked like a Renaissance nature morte but tasted so lively. Rich, exquisite, decadent!

Patissier Balazs Enzsol Decadent Chocolate Dessert Creation

Special mention to the French Grand Cru wine pairing and specially to restaurant manager Jeff Moch for treating us with some rarely seen flacons in Bali. From Alsace to Bordeaux, Champagne to Burgundy, all distinguished domains, accompanying perfectly each and every dishes, with each type of wine featuring different characteristics and elevating the cuisine. One of the finest wine pairing selection we ever had.

I was very pleased with this dinner. After all, what’s not to love about spending an evening in great company, re-exploring French cuisine and eating delicious food with truffle all the way. No doubt, this exceptional product, richly deserved being referred to as the "Diamonds of Périgord". Chef Chris Salans, newly appointed Master Chef by the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France Association, has once more showcased the high standard of Ubud’s culinary scene. It was a special event that feels really special. A fireworks for the taste buds! Ma révérence, Maître Salans!

by wlw - 2019.03.31

© dineandwinebali.com - March 2019

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