With autumn swiftly approaching, it’s time to finalize plans for one of our very favorite wintertime events – our Truffle Getaway in Provence. It is coming up on January 29th-February 4th, 2012.  This event focuses on the king of truffles – the fragrant black melanosporum truffles that are found in the Provence region of France between mid-November and mid-February.

I love the flavor of these incredible melanosporum truffles, but one of the best parts of the week is the truffle hunt with a local farmer and his dogs.  It is really fun to tag along and watch the hunt take place.  From the dog’s first sniff of the ground to the triumphant retrieval of the truffle, the hunt is fascinating and fun.  After each find, the farmer is, of course, rewarded with a truffle and the dog is rewarded with a treat, typically a sausage.  The dog is happy and the farmer is pretty happy, too.  We’re happy, as well, as we get to sample a tasty dish with truffles at the end of the hunt.

During the week, we cook together using the melanosporum truffles and other local ingredients in our dishes.  We also work with a local chef to get more hands-on experience in using truffles.  We dine on truffle meals everyday – sometimes at home in our gorgeous farmhouse in the Luberon region of Provence and sometimes in local restaurants.  One day, we visit Chez Bruno, the famous restaurant in the Var Region that specializes in truffles.  That is such a fantastic dining experience in an old converted farmhouse with a wonderful fireplace warming the air.

Other excursions include visits to local markets, including a truffle market, to buy the finest in fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.  We taste wines in Chateauneuf du Pape and learn how to pair them with our food.  We also visit a famous sommelier in France who also owns a restaurant that specializes in truffles.  We have excursions to several of the local villages, including St. Remy, Gordes, Goult, Isle sur la Sorgue, Carpentras and others.

Our farmhouse there has been beautifully and luxuriously remodeled and has one of the best chef’s kitchens that I have ever seen.  Each bedroom has a private bathroom.  The living room has a big fireplace and plush seating areas.  The home is a short walk to a charming village.  The owners of the farmhouse also own a winery and a chateau nearby.  They come over one evening and cook dinner for us.  It is a fantastic time as they are warm and funny and incredibly welcoming.

We limit our Truffle Getaway to five participants each year so that it can be a personalized and unique experience for all.  Would love to have you join us!   We welcome singles, couples and friends.  Here is a link to our website with additional information: Culinary Getaways.

Time to get to work now on confirming our reservations and making sure we are all set for a fabulous truffle week!