Truffle Kerfuffle from 22 to 24 June celebrates one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients, fresh black truffles and will be held just minutes from where they are unearthed in Manjimup. Here are ten things you need to know about the festival and the prized nuggets of “black gold”.

Photo by Jessica Wyld

1. The real stars of Truffle Kerfuffle – truffles from the Southern Forests

At the epicentre of Truffle Kerfuffle is the true star of the show, the Tuber melanosporum, otherwise known as the black Périgord truffle, which is prized for its rarity and beguiling aroma. Truffles are affectionately known as “black gold”, a reference to their value, fetching prices between $200 and $300 a gram.

Their season is short from June to August, and you only need a small amount to transform a dish from ordinary to sublimely extraordinary. Truffle Kerfuffle chefs will show you how in the free demonstrations in the Festival Village. There’s no better place to buy freshly unearthed truffles than at the marketplace at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.

Photo by Jessica Wyld

2. The heart of the action – the Festival Village

The beautiful setting at Fonty’s Pool offers an amazing truffle experience and is the perfect place to smell, taste, buy and learn about black truffle and Southern Forests wine and produce. There’s free tastings, free cooking demonstrations, truffle dog demos, children’s activities, a chance to chat to producers, farmers and wine makers, live music and much more. There’s even a chance to win fresh truffle by playing Truffle Bocce and Tombola.

The Festival Village is the vibrant hub of Truffle Kerfuffle weekend and offers a unique chance to indulge in black truffles at their freshest, minutes from where they are unearthed. The Festival Village is at Fonty’s Pool open 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35 and include all weekend access, a free tote bag and tasting glass – more info here.

Photo by Jessica Wyld

3. Take your experience to the next level

Indulge a little and have world-renowned chefs prepare decadent truffle dishes at one of the many events on during Truffle Kerfuffle. There are a few extra tickets just released for the Hunter’s Breakfast with Scott Brannigan, a new Fervor lunch and masterclass on Friday (BYO), Dark Delights Dinner with George Cooper on Saturday night, Foragers Seasonal Truffle Dinner with Sophie Zalokar also on Saturday night, and an extra truffle hunt added to Sunday.

At the Festival Village there are a few spots available at The Shed wine sessions and a couple of seats around the table at The Chef’s Cabin series with Mark Best, Bruno Loubet and Marianne Lumb.

4. Manjimup produces more truffles than the rest of Australia combined

Almost 90% of black truffles produced in Australia come from Manjimup. As the largest producer in the southern hemisphere the region has secured its place on the global culinary map. You see, Truffle Kerfuffle really is in the heart of Australian truffle country.

5. Truffle hunts

Fossicking through forests of hazelnut or oak tress with clever canines hunting for truffles is a quintessential truffle experience. The Truffle Kerfuffle hunts are selling fast but there are a few places still available.

Choose from renowned truffle growers Oak Valley Truffles, Australian Truffle Traders or with chef and truffle grower David Coomer at his truffière. Most tickets include shuttle buses from the Festival Village to the truffle orchard and self-drive options are available on the Friday.

Photo by Richard Jefferson Photography

6. The best fresh produce

The Southern Forests is a food producer’s dream and in the Festival Village you’ll have the chance to taste your way through the region. The pristine environment, rich loamy soils and crisp mornings produce the best quality fruit and veg including avocados, finger limes, potatoes, apples and the prized Bravo apple, pumpkins, persimmons and stone fruit, in fact, the region produces over 50 different types of fruit, vegetable and nuts as well as milk, beef, marron and a host of other food types. And let’s not forget the reason we’re here, the revered black truffle.

Photo by Jessica Shaver

7. Free kids cooking classes and activities Saturday and Sunday

There’s heaps to keep children entertained at Truffle Kerfuffle on both Saturday and Sunday. At the Truffle Experience kids will be able to look at a truffle through a microscope and learn about the science behind great truffles, there’s a drawing station with worksheets, Kids Cooking School with Sophie Budd powered by Winning Appliances which is free with festival entry, just put your name down for the time slot on arrival.

Times are 11am Southern Forests Sliders (12-16years); 12.30 Karri Country Gnocchi (6-12 years); 2pm Bravo Apple Fritters (6-12years); 3.30pm Potato Play Dough (little ones). This is a hands-on class and a parent is required to attend.

Photo by Jessica Wyld

8. Truffle Donut

Yes, you read that right. The clever folk from The Heritage Wine Bar have created a delectable donut with truffle infused crème patisserie, Southern Forests honey and Pottinger truffle. Enough said, get in my belly now. Only available at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.

9. Truffle Negroni

Don’t miss the experiencing possibly the best cocktail ever invented, a Walnut and Truffle Negroni at the Campari Bar at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village. They’ll also be serving up classic Italian cocktails including the Classic Negroni, a decadent drink in its own right with bitterness from Campari mixed with the sweetness from vermouth giving it a rich flavour profile.

Our tip is to indulge a little and pimp your drink with walnut infused gin, dark chocolate bitters and finish with a garnish of fresh truffle shaving. Walnut and Truffle Negroni, keeping you warm this winter and only at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Village.

10. Truffle Kerfuffle attracts big names

Jack Stein, Paul West, James Viles, Anna Gare, Matthew Evans and Guy Grossi have appeared at Truffle Kerfuffle in the past and this year the line up is more impressive than ever before. Guy Grossi returns this year and joins Australian legend Mark Best, Sam Aisbett (Whitegrass, Singapore / Australia), Marianne Lumb (Marianne’s, London UK), Bruno Loubet (UK/Australia), Scott Brannigan (Bread in Common, Perth), Tony Howell (Cape Lodge, South West), Paul Iskov, Fervor (South West), Aaron Carr (Yarri, South West), George Cooper (Food by The Chef, South West), David Coomer (Southern Forests / Perth), Sophie Zalokar, (Foragers, South West), Sue Hutchins (Shadow Wine Bar, Perth) as well as wine expert Rachael Niall (Budburst Bar, Perth), chocolatier Sue Lewis (Perth) and food journalists Max Veenhuyzen (Broadsheet, Qantas, Gourmet Traveller) and John Lethlean (The Australian).

Photo by Sarah Hewer

From its initial beginnings in 2011, Truffle Kerfuffle (a not for profit community event) has grown into a highlight of the Australian tourism calendar and is on the to-do list of many a traveller and gourmand.

Source: Truffle Kerfuffle