She walks shyly around us…
…sniffs around our legs and hunts for that subtle hint of truffle. Bingo! She finds it, immediately turns her head to her master with a victory expression on her face as the tail wags uncontrollably to show her pride, and expecting a treat at the same time.
Trainer Georgie Patterson from Aussie Truffle Dogs gives little miss Summer a piece of cooked chicken meat as reward. Summer swallows the reward effortless, points her nose back at the same truffle oil soaked cotton pad on the floor then back at Georgie, she is expecting another reward. Funny she finds it again… again… and again!
The truffle dog stole the show as the opening act at the Truffle and Wine dinner at Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham, as part of the Truffle Festival events happening around Australia this year. The Pom and I found ourselves in Daylesford that particular weekend and simply couldn’t resist to join in for some truffle treat.
This special event was held at the newly renovated private dining area at Cosmopolitan Hotel which used to be the stables. We sat down with the other fifty eight truffle lovers for an indulgence evening of local fine wine from Passing Clouds, and if memory serves me right, I believe the truffle supplied for tonight’s event is from Tasmania because Georgie said the harvest season in Canberra is a little late this year.
Lumps of Perigord truffles were passed around the tables so everyone could have a sniff of that distinctive musky aroma of a truffle.
It was Bastille Day and house french chef Aurelien Papet has prepared a $85 3-course truffle dinner to celebrate the occasion. We started with an entree of truffle scrambled egg served inside a hollow egg shell, then covered with truffle foam floret and two sourdough soldiers from the RedBeard bakery. There was only a slight hint of delicate truffle flavour in the scrambled egg from the light shaving of truffle, a simple dish to get the palate craving for more.
There was a rather long wait between entree and main, but eventually we were rewarded with juicy chicken ballotine stuffed with thin slices of truffle and mushrooms which I found the truffle flavour was rather lost mixing in with the overpowering mushroom flavour. On the side is a construction site of truffle infused mash with five snow peas perfectly cooked, and fanned out like the Opera House.
Throughout the evening, I only had one wine to pair with my meal, undoubtedly the 1995 Graeme’s Blend Shiraz Cabernet, every drop was as smooth as Ella Fitzgerald jazzing and swinging on my palate.
Last course is cheese, I love cheese. Chef Aurelien Papet served it in front of us, ladled a heaped spoonful of the hot molten Fromager de Clarines infused with truffle shavings on top of a thick slice of sourdough. But it was the big thick slice of creamy comte on the side almost pushed me over the edge of cheesy overload.
The truffle dinner was more an introductory to truffle appreciation rather than satisfying truffle indulgence. Nevertheless, we had a great night out inside the warm and cozy Cosmopolitan Hotel while the temperature dropped down to -3C outside.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel Corner High St and Cosmo Rd Trentham Victoria 3458 Opening hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday for all day drinks, lunch and dinner from midday