In a city where restaurant turnover is sometimes alarmingly frequent, it is wonderful to see…
Located in the rolling hills of Majura, a farm hosting some seriously cute truffle hunters is asking Canberra foodies and adventurers to look to their own backyard this weekend.
Known as Canberra’s ultimate treasure-hunt, puppy hugs and foodie destination, The Truffle Farm is the perfect place to visit to tantalise your taste buds with some black gold.
Open from early June through to September, this year the farm is offering a rare opportunity for locals: for the first time in five years, the Truffle Hunt and Degustation Lunch has tickets available until September.
As one of Australia’s premier truffle hunting destinations, The Truffle Farm specialises in professionally-run truffle hunts and cooking demonstrations, bringing visitors from interstate to enjoy the fun of the farm. However, as borders close and restrictions get tighter, The Truffle Farm is feeling the strain.
“Due to COVID hitting at the peak of the truffle season and at the height of the tourism season, we’ve had over 600 cancellations,” says founder Jayson Mesman.
“It’s been devastating to the business…For us, the biggest part is we’re a seasonal product so when our availability has been shut down for two months, that’s a big problem.”
Inviting locals to join the eight adorable truffle snufflers, including Simba the dog that hunts for hugs, Jayson is hoping to encourage people to try something a little special at home.
“If you have the green thumb, you have the gardening aspect, the hands-on experience where you don’t have to fly all the way from France or Italy to hunt for truffles,” says Jayson.
“For dog lovers, we have eight working dogs on the farm and six of them are rescue dogs. We also have the foodie aspect as one of Australia’s most decorated chefs takes you through the interactive food experience.”
“I started the farm because I’m a Canberra kid and I’m proud my farm is the gateway to Canberra.”
Truffle hunts start from just $75 per person, however, if you’d like to level up your experience, for $225 per person The Truffle Hunt and Degustation is a perfect excuse to get out of the house and learn more about what Canberra’s food region has to offer—and they’re available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The perfect replacement for that cancelled interstate foodie vacation.
Designed for both truffle newbies and seasoned souls, Jayson is the ultimate guide as he explains everything you need to know about the fungi.
Starting with an interactive truffle hunt that takes place rain, hail or shine, follow Jayson and the dogs as they hunt through a forest of 7,000 oak and hazelnut trees, searching for the elusive piece of ‘black magic’.
Once you’ve struck (black) gold, retreat to the warmth of the truffle shed for a six-course degustation prepared by executive chef Damian Brabender of OTIS Dining that is sure to leave you drooling. To make the day even better, you’ll also learn how to use truffles at home.
“The chef prepares all six courses in front of you but it’s also interactive so it’s an opportunity to learn about the truffle industry,” says Jayson.
“My whole idea of the package is to get truffles off the bucket list and onto a shopping list.”
Perfect for corporate events as well, the Truffle Farm also offers a unique interactive truffle hunt and dining experience for your workplace. For the true truffle aficionados, fresh products are also available from the farm or can be purchased from the online store.
With some of the freshest, local produce available and guaranteed puppy hugs, get trufflin’ to help support one of Canberra’s unique (and delicious) local businesses.
What: The Truffle Hunt and Degustation Lunch
Where: The Truffle Farm, 23 Mount Majura Road
When: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am