“The Truffle” – In search of ideality and the idol: 60,000 €.

A few years back (November will mark the V edition) we created the International Championship for Recipes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Jaén Paraíso Interior”, with a top prize of 18,000 €, formed to promote culinary creativity using olive oil as the protagonist. It is a competition between chefs, with more than 100 applications from ten different countries every year in which the 10 finalists present their formulas by creating their dishes in the Palacio Kursaal, in San Sebastian. In 2007, we established the Kingdom of Navarre Award (Premio Reyno de Navarra) as part of the “Enjoy Vegetables” Congress, with a grand prize of 40,000 € given for the best investigative work accomplished on vegetables, regardless of the field: culinary, industrial foods, cultivation, commercialization, research, etc. It went to Ferran Adrià of “El Bulli”, the creator who has most changed the concept of cuisine in our history.
Now we present another incentive to the universe of chefs. Backed by the Piedmont region, famous for producing the finest red wines in Italy (Barolos and Barbarescos), for creating one of the supreme symbols of cheese (gorgonzola), for harvesting–along with their neighbors in Lombardia–the best European rices, for having a chocolate industry whose delicacies are found in every corner of the world… for many, many things. This new award will have, as protagonist, the most exquisite aroma that the natural world has to offer: the truffle. Inarguably one of the most prized and coveted delicacies in a trilogy that includes cured ham and caviar. Thanks to its fragrances and volume at the beginning of the season, in November, the white truffle, whose capital is Alba, reached astronomical prices: 6,000 € kilo.
The I Golden Truffle Award has been created to highlight the work that chefs, researchers, writers or suppliers have accomplished in the culinary, technical, artistic, cultural or commercial development of the Tartufo Bianco del Piamonte. It will continue as a yearly event.
The grand prize is 60,000 € and also includes a Tartufo sculpture. It will be judged by a jury formed of 10 reputable gastronomic critics. Each of the members can present up to a maximum of three candidates. Any chef with the initiative can contact and inform the coordinators –lomejordelagastronomia.com– of their intention to be included in the list of finalists, supplying information regarding their merits, which must be supported by one of the judges. The final decision will be made public in the first half of November at a celebration in the Piedmont region after an organized dinner officiated by some of the finest chefs in the region who will be preparing proposals using white truffles. The winner will give a seminar in the IX Congress on Cuisine of lomejordelagastronomia.com, taking place in San Sebastian, November 19th through the 22nd, with the white truffle as a protagonist. They will also prepare a dish to be included in the feast that will follow this doctoral exposition, accompanied by other formulas created by the most prestigious colleagues of the Piedmont region.
The most sublime aroma in the world is searching for the chef who knows best how to exalt it.