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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Oregon Truffle Festival

Posted: February 18, 2007
by: Susan Anderson

Just as the Oregon white truffle begins to reach its peak of ripeness in its native soil, the second annual Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, Oregon began during the winter days of January 26th to the 28th.  Very timely, because a lot of fresh truffles were served over that weekend.

It is the first festival of its kind in North America, dedicated to sharing the experience of the growers, chefs, foragers and food and wine lovers of Oregon’s wild truffles from their hidden source under the magnificent Douglas Fir tree to their glory on the table.

Included in the three day event were truffle hunting in the woods or foraging, dog training demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, winery tours, and elaborate meals with some of Oregon’s top chefs and a truffle marketplace. For the want-to-be or the truffle farmer the festival offered truffle cultivation seminars taught by European experts that in two days covered the essentials necessary for US truffle farmers to succeed.

For the food and wine lover, Friday night offered a series of available dinners using truffles. I attended a four-course dinner at Pfeiffer Vineyards with Guest Chef Stu Stein of Terroir Restaurant and Wine Bar in Portland, Oregon and hosted by Danuta and Robin Pfeiffer two of the warmest most entertaining host I have ever met. I thought the stand outs in this dinner were the Pfeiffer Vineyards ‘Blue Dot Reserve’ Pinot Noir 2005 and a Goat Cheese and Oregon white truffle cheesecake that showcased the flavor of the white truffle better than anything I could imagine.

Saturday began at King Estate Vineyards with a tour of the estate and winery. King Estate is committed to using organic and Estate grown produce, practicing sustainable agriculture, and supporting the local community.  A cooking demonstration followed with Executive Chef Dustin Clark of Wildwood Restaurant in Portland who made a risotto with the main ingredients being Dungeness crab, pink grapefruit, mascarpone cheese and shaved white truffle. I was totally satisfied with the risotto but on to the truffle luncheon.  A superb luncheon followed showcasing the wines of King Estate and the Oregon truffle. After lunch, we departed for a truffle foray and dog training demonstration at Shirewood Farms. After a little education on truffle hunting we were allowed to hunt for them under the Douglas Fir trees. My truffle-hunting partner and I actually found four white truffles the size of quarters.

The signature event of the Oregon Truffle Festival is the Grand Truffle Dinner Saturday evening featuring James Beard award winning chefs and wines from Oregon. It benefits students of the culinary arts. The first course of Oregon Dungeness Crab Salad with Black Truffles, Apples and Shell Beans by Chef Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place in Portland, Oregon was outstanding.

The weekend ended with a Truffle Marketplace on Sunday that included wine tastings, Oregon artisan foods, truffle tastings, cooking demonstrations and a lecture series.

Susan Anderson

Your Comments

I didn't know that there are dog training for finding truffels but it sounds like something very interesting.I'll search for some tips on the internet how to train my dog on this.

Posted by: Cara Fletcher at Aug 27, 2007 9:22:37 AM

I had a lot of problems with one of my dogs and I had no idea how to deal with it. My dog would bark constantly, break everything that she would get her mouth around, steal food from the table, run after cars. She even tried to bite the neighbor's kid. I was so frustrated with all her annoying behaviors that were driving me crazy. I got sick and tired of not being able to control her. I couldn't stand the idea that I was going to spend years to come with this mad dog.

Posted by: Mariya at Jul 11, 2008 4:45:18 AM