A wise woman once said, “If I can’t have too many truffles, I’ll do without truffles.” If this sounds a lot like you a collaboration between three Johannesburg chef’s is sure to whet your appetite.

Matthew Foxon of 54 on Bath’s Level Four Restaurant and Gareth Jordaan of The Palazzo Montecasino’s Medeo – along with The Palazzo’s Pastry Chef Marco Gaspar, have put together a menu that pairs the earthy flavours of truffles with the perfect wines at two delightful truffle and wine pairing dinners in Johannesburg.

A Culinary Privilege

Often reserved for special occasions truffles are precarious to grow and difficult to harvest.

They’re coveted for their rarity and have been described as “sublime and mysterious, with a unique taste, reminiscent of earthy mushrooms and with more depth and complexity.

“Truffles are a rare and flavourful delicacy– and creating an entire truffle and wine pairing menu is a culinary privilege,” explains Foxon.

“We believe the two dinners will provide an exclusive and unique experience for the guests.” The truffles are cultivated in South Africa, through Woodford Truffles SA, a farming partnership company.

Soft herb risotto, truffle shavings, truffle paste, grated truffle, crispy onions
Soft herb risotto, truffle shavings, truffle paste, grated truffle, crispy onions

Level Four’s Truffle Evening

The Level Four Woodford truffle wine evening begins with Morgenster Cuvee ’10 and truffle canapés and an amuse bouche.

The starter is Porcini arancini, Boland and goat’s cheese and truffle, with Nabucco ’12, followed by slow braised beef tortellini, and Estate Reserve ’10, and the palate course of Dirty Martini, Vermentino ’19, olive, and truffle.

The main course is Guinea fowl, spinach puree, baby carrots, boulangère potato, and truffle jus, served with Lourens River Valley ’07. Dessert is ‘Hard to Soft’ local cheeses and truffle honey, with Tosca ’11 and a selection of truffle-infused petit fours.

The Palazzo Truffle Evening

The menu for the dinner at The Palazzo’s Rosa venue includes an arrival canapé of duck prosciutto, liver paté and truffle butter, followed by a starter of coriander scallop, pancetta, clam chowder and truffle, served with Kleine Zalze Brut.

The intermediate course, which is presented by Chef Matthew Foxon, is pumpkin ricotta tortellini, burnt sage butter, truffle and parmesan foam. A palate cleanser follows, consisting of buttered popcorn sorbet, Maldon salt and truffle.

Soft herb risotto, truffle shavings, truffle paste, grated truffle, crispy onions

The main course is one for the carnivores, serving kudu with bitter chocolate and truffle jus, purple potato, beets and parsnip purée, accompanied by Reyneke Cornerstone.

The cheese course is yet another delight of truffle appreciation – roast fig, gorgonzola and truffle honey accompanied by Bosman Pinot Noir.

And finally, an unforgettable dessert consisting of Arriba milk chocolate panna cotta, roast hazelnut, truffle shavings and cherry, paired with Rustenburg Straw Wine.

The two six-course dinners are on Thursday 25 July at Level Four, 54 on Bath, featuring wines from Morgenster Estate, and on Monday 5 August at the exquisite Rosa venue at The Palazzo Montecasino. The cost of both dinners is R650 per person.