The 23rd Truffle Market at Le Rouret and the truffled meals by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Ettlinger at Le Clos Saint Pierre and Bistro du Clos have highlighted the Black Diamond of Provence
The Truffle Market, organized by the Syndicat des Trufficulteurs des Alpes-Maritimes, takes place every year in January at Le Rouret. Over time, this rendezvous has become the must event for all truffle lovers. On Sunday, January 14th 2019, many truffle farmers and gourmets gathered on the place of the Provençal market to honor the Black Truffle and its by-products.
The Truffle, theme of winter tourism
The Black Truffle, the rabasse or Tuber Melanosporum, this mushroom from the Provençal terroir with its beautiful black robe and captivating scents, so much appreciated by gourmets, is a mushroom fed by mysteries that grows underground and is harvested in winter. Its culture at the foot of noble trees like oak or hazel favors secret exchanges with the prodigality of Mother Nature. Through the landscapes that its culture is shaping and the varied and succulent gastronomy it inspires, the truffle offers a magnificent theme of winter tourism. If natural “truffières” are threatened by drought in summer, the terroir of Provence offers ideal areas for the cultivation of truffles. This year, the rains that fell on the Mediterranean rim and in particular in Provence were favorable to the sexuality and the development of the Black Diamond, contributing to a good harvest.
Le Rouret, land of truffles
Located about twenty kilometers from Nice and Cannes and ten minutes from Grasse, Le Rouret is a gorgeous Provencal village overlooking the Mediterranean. This friendly village where it feels good to live hides unsuspected treasures. Indeed, every year in January, it is the site of strange speculations. Men and women dressed in capes, black hats, red scarves tied around their necks, accompanied by dogs, invest early in the morning the traditional Provencal market: they are truffle farmers. As soon as they arrive, a gourmande crowd masses in front of their stands to be the first to buy this black gold so coveted by gourmets. In their wicker baskets, clasped against each other, the little uniform balls in earth color, with the scents of undergrowth, are offered to the gourmand eyes of the visitors.
A coveted Black Diamond
This 23rd edition of the Truffle Market, steeped in tradition and full of fragrant taste emotions, has kept all its promises. On sunday, under a radiant sun, to the sound of a typically Provençal orchestra, the baskets of visitors were filling up with Corsican clementines, local vegetables, honeys, olive oils, jams, deli meats or foie gras. Among the crowd of visitors, many chefs from famous gastronomic establishments had come to bathe in the radiant and festive atmosphere of the Provençal market.
Transcend by the scent of the fresh truffle flooding the market aisles, everyone observed, smelled, negotiated the black diamond that was a priced at 80 euros per 100 grams. All the truffles had been controlled by the Syndicat des Trufficulteurs before their sale, in order to guarantee the customers their origin and quality. Sorted, brushed, calibrated, the truffles with firm consistency, rounded form, well-chiselled grain and shell, were the object of rapid transactions.
Inductions to the Brotherhood of Rabassiers of Le Rouret
The fresh truffles exhibited on the stands all came from the Haut Var region but also from the Alpes-Maritimes, such as those of Thomas Bouskri or Jean-Philippe Gréco, new County President des Trufficulteurs in the Alpes Maritimes, both truffle farmers in the Haut Pays of Grasse. After having supplied themselves with truffles, visitors had the opportunity to attend demonstrations of truffle dogs or take one of the free shuttle buses provided by the town of Le Rouret to visit the truffle parcels located above the village. They also had the opportunity to attend an induction. Indeed, it is customary for the rabassiers of Le Rouret to enthrone new members during the truffle market. The protocol suggests it be a truffle grower and a chef. This year, the Grand Chamberlain, Gérald Lombardo, Mayor of Le Rouret, enthroned the Japanese chef of Le Clos Saint Pierre Daiju Furuta and truffle farmer Thomas Bouskri. According to the ancestral ritual, they pledged allegiance to the brotherhood.
Truffled lunch at Le Clos Saint Pierre and Bistro du Clos
The Truffle Market was the opportunity for Daniel Ettlinger, starred chef of Le Clos Saint Pierre and Bistro du Clos, to concoct a delicious truffle menu. At lunchtime, between the village square and the House of Associations, truffle lovers had a gastronomic break to taste the truffle in all its forms. Loaded with bags full of truffles and by-products, everyone tried with eagerness to find a table at the Bistro du Clos, in a room already crowded with people. For those who, by chance, had reserved their place at the starred restaurant Le Clos Saint Pierre, the obstacle course was much simpler.
A starred chef in the kitchen
In the kitchen, Chef Daniel Ettlinger, originally from Northern Alsace, is a true food enthusiast. A passion transmitted his father who was a real “cordon bleu”. After having passed by the most beautiful gastronomic houses in Belgium like Relais& Châteaux Barbizon, La Cravache d’Or, La Truffe Noire in Belgium, he goes to Italy at Gualtiero Marchesi, 3 Michelin stars, considered as the most famous Italian Chef in the World, founder of the “new Italian cuisine”. He then crosses the road of Guy Savoie, opens the Noga Hilton in Cannes and finally praticed his art at the Diamant Rose near Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In the 2000s, he decided with his wife Catherine to put his suitcases in the charming village of Le Rouret. He will then open the gastronomic restaurant Le Clos Saint Pierre and Le Bistro du Clos three years later. The same year, Le Clos Saint Pierre is rewarded with a star in the Michelin Guide.
Sharing the love of truffles
Daniel Ettlinger is also a member of the Maîtres Restaurateurs and the Collège Culinaire de France. As for the Bistro du Clos located a few steps away, it was honored in 2017 by a Bib Gourmand. Chef Daniel Ettlinger loves truffles and he likes to share this love for the Black Diamond with his customers. The dishes he concocts are based on fresh products he buys from local producers. The truffle that perfumes each of his dishes does not escape the rule. He likes to put it on the front of the stage in his generous plates
Tasted menu at Le Bistro du Clos:
Truffled Gizzard Salad
Truffled Beef Cut
Homemade Blanquette of Veal
Le Clos Saint-Pierre à l’Hôtel du Clos
5, Place de l’Eglise
06650 Le Le Rouret
Tél. +33 (0)4 93 77 39 18
At Clos Saint Pierre
Le Bistro du Clos
9, Route d’Opio
06650 Le Le Rouret
Tél: +33 (0)4 97 05 08 34
Le Rouret Celebrates the Truffle ans its Gastronomy in pictures
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