When Renowned Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio and Multiple James Beard Awarding Winner Chef Luciano Pellegrini team up for a White Truffle dinner, there is no other place any foodie should be.
Recently these two icons of the industry celebrated the 40th year of Valentino at their award winning venues in Santa Monica, Houston and Las Vegas with a 5 course White Truffle dinner paired with the wines from Beni Di Batasiolo.
The first mention of truffles appears in the writing of Theophrastus in the fourth century BC. There are hundreds of species of truffles, but the fruiting body of some are highly prized as a food.
In The he 18th-century, Brillat-Savarin called these truffles "the diamond of the kitchen". These “diamonds” are held in high esteem in French, Spanish, northern Italian and Greek cooking.
The "white truffle" or "Alba madonna" (Tuber magnatum) comes from the Langhe and Montferrat areas of the Piedmont region in northern Italy and in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti.
Basically to make it simple, White Truffles are very special and it takes a Chef with the culinary artistry of Luciano Pellegrini to bring them to life and turn them in to a great peace of culinary art on each plate.
We caught up with the white truffles at Valentino in Las Vegas in The Venetian Resort and Casino. Walking through the classic lounge our noses were delighted to get our first whiff of the aromas of white truffles that filled the room.
The dining room glistened with numerous wine glasses at each table placement and a basket of these “white diamonds “ from the earth sat center stage beckoning guests to come over a get a closer look and smell of what they were about to experience.
The Hors D’oeuvres Course:
Chef Luciano did not waste any time and got the palates primed with two starters featuring the truffles paired with Cranee, Gavi DOCG 2009. The lovely, elegant Gavi with its aromas of white flowers and refreshing palate paired harmoniously with the subtle flavors of the white truffles.
First Course :
Homemade Duck Prosciutto with Boschetto and White Truffle
Beni Di Batasiolo 2009 Dolcetto d’Alba
This dish was a wonderful way to start and showed off Chef Luciano’s award winning skills and expertise in the art of pairing fine food and wine. The thinly sliced Duck Prosciutto paired perfectly with the elegant white truffles that danced off our palates with layers of classic flavors.
The intense full flavored Dolcetto d’ Alba with its perfect tannins and acidly was the right choice in wine as it was flavorful enough but did not overwhelm the delicate flavors of the dish.
Second Course :
Egg and Ricotta Ravioli with Parmesan Fondue and White Truffle
Beni Di Batasiolo 2008 “Sovran” Barbera d’Alba
The second dish was an excellent contrast to the first. The richness of the Egg and Ricotta Ravioli with the slight saltiness and creaminess of the Parmesan Fondue, showed the versatility in the flavors of the white truffle.
In this dish, the truffle took on bigger flavors and took its rightful place as the star. The Barbera , with its soft aromas of red fruits and flowers with its well balanced acidy, married to this rich dish perfectly .
Wagyu Beef Medallion with Barolo Demi White Asparagus and White Truffle
Beni Di Batasiolo 2004 “Cerequio” Barolo and 2006 Barolo
The third course was big , bold and brought out even bigger flavors of the truffle. The Wagu beef Medallion with Luciano’s expertise in using wine in the dish by the addition of a Barolo Demi White Asparagus brought out layers and layers of flavors that kept going bite after bite.
A big dish needed a bigger wine and the Barolo’s worked well. The intense garnet color, big flavors of wild red berries and aromas of earth and tobacco paired perfectly with the earthiness of the dish.
Like a period at the end of the final sentence of a great Novel, this dinner had to have a fitting end. Chef Luciano Pellegrini and his staff provided guests with two tasty but light desserts that would send everyone home with a smile.
Beni Di Batasiolo Piedmonte DOC Bracchetto
The tasty creations from Executive Pastry Chef Alessandro Stoppa paired with the delicate and elegant flavors of the Bracchetto provided the final treat for our palates that have been pleased all night.
A dinner such as this is not just a dinner but a dining experience that will live on in the memories of those fortunate enough have been at one of these incredible evenings.