Truffles grown in Sheffield thanks to a pioneering method devised by a city expert will be featuring on a special menu at a local restaurant.
The world’s most precious ingredient and normally only found on the Continent, truffles are now being cultivated at a plantation in Sheffield and others around the UK thanks to Dr Paul Thomas, a former doctoral student at Sheffield University.
He has created a method to inoculate trees with truffle spores and his company, Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd, is now the largest grower of cultivated truffles in the world.
City restaurant Inox Dine, on level 5 of the Students’ Union Building at The University of Sheffield, has its own truffle trees donated by Paul’s company and has tasked its head chef Joe Berry to work with Paul on a three-course truffle-infused menu.
The Celebration of Truffles event will be on October 17. The rich truffle taste and odour will be used in the starter, main course and even the dessert - a truffled chocolate delice.
Said Joe: “We’re looking forward to showcasing this gem of an ingredient. It’s a bit like cutting into a diamond and pairing it with foods correctly to make sure it shines in the dish is a challenge.”
It’s the restaurant’s first collaboration with Paul, who is now a renowned authority on what some have dubbed ‘the diamond of the kitchen’. The scientist has appeared on TV programmes including Saturday Kitchen and Hairy Bikers to share his passion for using truffles in cooking and on the evening will talk about the complex and mysterious forest fungus whose popularity continues to grow.
He commented: “Truffles are traditionally very hard to find – often done with the aid of trained truffle sniffing dogs. Yorkshire is a great place to grow them because of the nature of the soil and the climate.
Indeed, a summer truffle grown in Sheffield has a better flavour than those cultivated in France and Italy. It’s set to become a true Yorkshire delicacy.”
Tickets, £34, include the meal and a welcome drink. Call 0114 2226043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org