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Napa Truffle Festival, Days 2 and 3

centerpiece at la toque, saturday night

centerpiece at la toque, saturday night

What a whirlwind!  From Friday through Monday we spoke with many fascinating people over truffles and wine.  We shared with you the highlights of the first two days of food at the Napa Truffle Festival, and now we will cover Saturday’s dinner and Sunday’s lunch.

duck fat poached salmon with hedgehog mushroom salad, celery root puree, and black truffle shavings

duck fat poached salmon with hedgehog mushroom salad, celery root puree, and black truffle shavings

Saturday night was the uber-fancy dinner at La Toque.  It started with passed appetizers and champagne before moving to the other four courses at the table, and we had the pleasure of sitting with two other lovely couples.  All of the dishes were phenomenal, but the one that stood out the most to us was the second course of duck fat poached salmon.  The salmon was beyond delicate, moist, and succulent, “on the borderline of being not cooked but it was, that’s how tender it was,” says Zach.  The hedgehog salad was delightful, and the sweetness of the celery root puree was a nice compliment to the whole dish.  The truffles were just icing on the cake, so to speak.  There was one vegetarian at the table, and her courses looked as fabulous as ours were.  Here’s the other courses (and sorry that we snapped only two of the veggie plates):

1st course - beef "crudo" with soft yolk and anchovy pesto

1st course – beef “crudo” with soft yolk and anchovy pesto

3rd course - sweet bread and black truffle fagotelli

3rd course – sweet bread and black truffle fagotelli

vegetarian 3rd course - ravioli with butter sauce and shaved black truffles

vegetarian 3rd course – ravioli with butter sauce and shaved black truffles

4th course - speck wrapped quail with ubriaco del veneto cheese and black truffle risotto

4th course – speck wrapped quail with ubriaco del veneto cheese and black truffle risotto

vegetarian 4th course - black truffle risotto with even more black truffle shavings

vegetarian 4th course – black truffle risotto with even more black truffle shavings

5th course - truffled marscapone crepe cake with sherry brown butter sauce

5th course – truffled marscapone crepe cake with sherry brown butter sauce

We slept in on Sunday and skipped the mushroom foraging excursion, but joined the gang at Beringer Vineyards for lunch and a cooking demonstration by Chef Nico Chessa and the Vineyards’ Chef Maurine Sarjeant.  We had the delight of learning the recipes of three of the four courses served, and Chef Nico was a wonderful teacher and entertainer.

1st course - citrus marinated arctic char with black truffle and colatuta di alici pesto

1st course – citrus marinated arctic char with black truffle and colatuta di alici pesto

2nd course - chick pea crespella with forest mushrooms and black truffle

2nd course – chick pea crespella with forest mushrooms and black truffle

3rd course - kurobuta pork sausage with truffle soft polenta and poached egg

3rd course – kurobuta pork sausage with truffle soft polenta and poached egg

4th course - almond and truffle chocolate tortino with elder flower ice cream and fresh berries

4th course – almond and truffle chocolate tortino with elder flower ice cream and fresh berries

The second and third days of truffles and wine pairing were overwhelmingly delicious.  Thank you, Beringer, for your perfect pairings at our last sit-down together at the Napa Truffle Festival.

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Posted on January 21, 2013, in Event Coverage and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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