los angeles | Drink + Dine

White Truffle 101: Everything You Need to Know

October 22, 2015
Written by: Yasha Wallin

It’s our favorite, delectable time of the year: white truffle season. What that means is a chance to indulge in elegantly curated truffle dishes at The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Beverly Hills, starting this week. At the helm of this culinary affair is Chef de Cuisine Holly Jivin. Before digging in to this annual dinner, we tracked Jivin down to learn everything we need to know about white truffles.

What makes white truffles so special?
Truffles are highly prized and sought after for their fragrant aroma. They sell anywhere from $800-$2,500 a pound.

What are the best spots in the world to go truffle hunting?
Truffles are best known to come from Italy, France, Croatia, Australia and New Zealand. Our truffles come from the city Campobasso in the Molise region of Italy.

How do you know when you’ve found an excellent white truffle?
You should always seek out truffles that are firm to the touch and fragrant in aroma. We normally wait a couple of weeks into the season instead of buying the first available.

We’ve heard a lot about many truffle oils not being made from truffles but rather imitation flavors. How do you know you’re getting the real deal?
Truffle oil is typically made with a synthetic scent unless you make your own truffle oil.

What is the difference between black and white truffles?
White truffles are more fragrant and are always eaten sliced and raw. Black truffles are earthier and can be sliced or used to cook with.

Any tips for beginners cooking with white truffles?
Keep it simple. Shave them over your favorite pasta or egg dish.

What will we see on the menu at SAAM this season using truffles?
We always focus on flavors that complement the truffle, like: Coconut, potatoes, dashi, pasta, nuts, cheese, foie gras, game birds, and veal.

The fourth annual White Truffle Dinner Series at The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Beverly Hills is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning October 22. $350 per guest, with wine pairing options available. Don’t forget to book HERE or call (310) 773-5460 as space is limited!