11 Reasons You’ll Dig The 6th Annual Napa Truffle Festival

Handful of TrufflesPhoto Credit: Napa Truffle Festival

If you’re a truffle lover, you’ll want to be in Napa this weekend for 6th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, taking place Jan. 15-18 at the Westin Verasa Napa and other venues throughout the Napa Valley. Here are 11 reasons you should make plans to attend this four-day event where you’ll learn more than you ever thought you’d know about this highly-prized fungus, go mushroom foraging, enjoy truffle lunches paired with award-winning wines, watch a cooking demo and more. And a bonus, we tell you where you can enjoy a haute All-Black Truffle Menu for the next month.

Friday, January 15

Scientific Grower Truffle Cultivation Seminar
9 .am. – 3 p.m.
Presented by American Truffle Company’s Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Thomas and Managing Director Robert Chang, this in-depth seminar provides a detailed technical overview of the science and methodology involved in truffle cultivation. Also included, a buffet lunch and orchard tour/dog training demo.

Truffle Orchard Tour/Dog Training Demo
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards Truffle Orchard was the first winery property in California to join the American Truffle Company grower-partnership program. Participants will have an opportunity to visit the site, meet Vineyard/Orchard Manager Debby Zygielbaum and RSV owner Rob Sinskey, and to see the machinations and progress of the orchard.

Saturday, January 16

All About Truffles Seminar
7:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
In this exciting, comprehensive primer for foodies about all things truffle, you’ll get cooking and handling tips from the Napa Truffle Festival’s host, Michelin-starred chef Ken Frank, along with a glimpse into the science/cultivation of truffles (including “sex and truffles”) with world-renowned truffle scientist Dr. Paul Thomas. CPDT-KA certified dog trainer Alana McGee will also guide you through the fascinating and fun world of truffle dogs. Seminar includes continental breakfast, truffle orchard tour/dog training demo at Robert Sinskey Vineyards Truffle Orchard and bus transportation.

Wild Mushroom Educational Foray
8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Join mycologist David Campbell, along with American Truffle Company’s own Dr. Paul Thomas for a delightful walk into the woods of Napa Valley to forage for exotic mushrooms in their native habitats at the height of the mushroom season.

Merryvale Vineyards Winery Truffle Lunch & Wine Pairing
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Take part in a special private tour of the winery, followed by an exclusive truffle lunch prepared by the innovative Barzelay, perfectly paired with Merryvale’s extraordinary wines.

Truffle Orchard Tour/Dog Training Demo
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Dogs are an integral part of harvesting truffles. There is no better machine to sniff out mature truffles than the highly sensitive nose and the extreme mobility of a properly trained dog. Just like rigorous science is required for successful truffle cultivation, a scientific approach is key to effective truffle dog training. ATC’s Master Dog Trainer Alana McGee will cover the science of canine truffle scent location and its practical implementation.

Truffles & Wine Dinner at La Toque
6:30 p.m.
Truly one of the highlights of this festival will be what is sure to be a sublime meal prepared by four master chefs—Frank, David Barzelay of Lazy Bear in San Francisco, Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and Stefano Ciotti of Nostrano in Pesaro, Italy. The evening begins with a half-hour reception before you’ll sit down for a memorable feast.

Sunday, January 17

Wild Mushroom Educational Foray
8:30 a.m. -11 a.m.
Join mycologist David Campbell, along with American Truffle Company’s own Dr. Paul Thomas for a delightful walk into the woods of Napa Valley to forage for exotic mushrooms in their native habitats at the height of the mushroom season.

Jamieson Vineyards Winery Truffle Lunch & Wine Pairing
12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Enjoy gracious wine country hospitality as Chef Tramonto, assisted by the winery’s own Estate Chef Scott Ekstrom, presents a cooking demo and prepares a fabulous truffle lunch menu paired with Jamieson Ranch Vineyards’ award-winning wines.

Monday, January 18

Napa Truffle Festival Marketplace at Oxbow Public Market
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Enjoy local wines, cooking demos, truffle dog meet and greet, à la carte truffle menu items and fresh truffles for purchase.

Truffleluxe—A Curated Affair
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Reserved for Grand and Epicurean guests plus special ticket holders only, this VIP experience will feature premier wines served with Stolzle Glassware from Bos Wine, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, Reid Family Vineyards and Webster Cellars. Enjoy Libations Unlimited’s truffle-infused cocktails onboard “Sophia,” Feast it Forward’s luxury Ultimate Airstream mobile filming and hospitality lounge. Entertainer Katie Hamilton Shaffer will host a butchering demo with Tahoe Kitchen Company by Five Dot Ranch and you’ll nibble on mini truffle beef wellingtons. There’s also a baking demo, a truffle discussion with Sunset magazine Food Editor Margo True, Chang and Dr. Thomas. And man’s best friends, Lolo and Rico, will be joined by the Truffle Dog Company for an exclusive truffle hunting demo.

When the Napa Truffle Festival ends, continue to satisfy your truffle craving. Head to La Toque where Chef Frank rolled out his 34th Annual All-Black Truffle Menu last week, featuring creative new dishes as well as some classic favorites. The beloved tradition began at the original La Toque in Los Angeles and has been offered each January through the end of truffle season, which will most likely be February this year. Learn more about the Truffle Menu at La Toque by visiting http://www.latoque.com/truffle.html.

For more information on the Napa Truffle Festival, visit napatrufflefestival.com.

Chef Ken Frank
Chef Ken Frank

Photo Credit: Napa Truffle Festival