The Black Truffle Dinner series is back in SAAM at SLS Beverly Hills, celebrating its 4th year! With 18 courses, the dinner unearths the flavors of the truffle through the playful imagination and inventive gastronomic vision of Creative Director of José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, Chef Aitor Lozano Zabala.
We chatted with Chef Aitor himself to hear about the inspirations behind these creative dishes and to get a sneak peak of what to expect, including an a very unexpected dish that has yet to hit Los Angeles.
In your opinion, what makes black truffles so special?
Black truffles are special because while white truffles are traditionally served raw, black truffles have many more possibilities. While sometimes they are shaved raw on top of a dish, they can also be cooked with other ingredients to bring out their flavor even more.
How do you come up with 18 courses worth of playful and inventive dishes using them? What are some of your favorites?
Black truffles are very easy to combine with many seasonal ingredients. Some of my favorites include sea urchin, beets, potatoes, cauliflower and carrots. In addition, greasy products such as Iberian ham work really well when the fat and the truffle come together.
Each year we use different techniques to find a way to deliver the highest quality of each ingredient as it is married with the intense black truffle flavor.
My personal favorite pairing is the black truffle with sea urchin but the possibilities are endless.
This is the 4th Annual Truffle Series at SAAM at The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. How has the truffle series transformed over the years?
Black truffles are one of the most multi-faceted products I have ever worked with, that’s what makes the dinner series so unique each year. Every year we have learned more and more about the product and how we can make each year a unique experience for those guests that have returned again and again.
Any recommendations for how to prepare and cook with truffles for a novice?
Believe it or not, one of the most incredible ways to enjoy black truffles is freshly shaven on top of a perfectly fried egg. BOOM!
Any secrets you’re willing to share on what we can expect from this Truffle series debuting Jan 21st?
This year, we are going to use a product that has been yet to hit a dish in Los Angeles. We have brought in one of my favorites, straight from Spain: the Black Iberian Suckling Pig.
The Black Truffle Dinner Series premiers January 21st, with seatings starting at 6:30pm every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Reserve your spot at the table HERE!