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A radical new way to savour luxe black truffles? Now, that's cause for a celebration at Sydney's Bentley Restaurant & Bar, writes Maya Kerthyasa.
Are you getting enough vitamin T? Truffles are almost a
year-round pleasure now. You've been shaving Western Australian
truffles over your tagliatelle, roasting the Tassie ones whole à la
Colette and making chicken in half-mourning with the Canberra ones
in winter, then scenting potatoes and flavouring ice-cream with
imports from Périgord and Alba over summer. You've truffled your
mac-and-cheese, slipped a few slices into sandwiches and set a
couple whole in the humidor to perfume your cigars for good
measure. But what about making this rarefied ingredient part of
your beauty regimen?
Skincare company Estée Lauder is leading the way with its latest serum, Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Sculpting/Refinishing Dual Infusion, a combination of Périgord black truffle extract (the black diamond, if you will), South Sea pearls and 24-carat gold flakes - a potent trio of ingredients said to promote the skin's energy, vitality and youthfulness.
"In the quest to preserve the beauty of skin, our scientists are always striving for new ingredients," says Lauder's Australian brand general manager Emmerentia Wilding, "and truffles have been prized for centuries for their therapeutic properties."
The truffles are harvested in the south of France by Estée Lauder's master truffle grower, then put through a meticulous 10,000-hour process to form a liquid that's so precious it only makes a small number of bottles per harvest, each with a $450 price tag.
"The Re-Nutriv line was born from the desire to comb the world for the rarest and most precious ingredients that could have beneficial effects on the skin," says Wilding, "but each of those ingredients do have very specific reasons for being in there - they're not there just to talk to luxury."
The truffles, she tells us, work as "an energy source for skin cells" through their ability to "renew the skin's anti-ageing, fighting abilities". The gold, meanwhile, is an anti-irritant and the pearl "enhances radiance".
To celebrate the release of its Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Dual Infusion, Estée Lauder took over Sydney's Bentley Restaurant & Bar for an evening of truffle-fuelled fun.
The restaurant's sleek, modern dining room, designed by Pascale Gomes-McNabb, was transformed with bouquets of white flowers.
Chef Brent Savage conjured a dinner inspired by every element of the product, from the ingredients to the golden bottle itself.
"The packaging was really important and how we could reflect that through the food," says Savage, "we also talked a lot about the aromatics of the product and truffle was at the forefront."
Fine shavings of truffle added earthiness to an entrée of
malt-cured salmon made zingy with a mandarin and dashi stock, while
fatter slices of the fungi brought texture and punch to richly
marbled Rangers Valley wagyu, slow-cooked over charcoals and paired
with a salad of confit fennel and crisp kale.
The dessert of white chocolate milk cake with yoghurt sorbet and sheets of dehydrated yoghurt dusted with gold leaf, meanwhile, paid homage to Re-Nutriv's livery and its other star ingredients - gold and South Sea pearl.
And of course, this being Bentley, the pours (Gosset Grand Réserve Champagne, a 2012 Cuvée de Découverte Chablis by Patrick Piuze and a particularly memorable 2012 Achaval-Ferrer malbec) from GT Sommelier of the Year Nick Hildebrandt were nothing short of marvellous.
All in all a night of stand-out food and warm company in celebration of one of our favourite ingredients in cooking - and now skincare. Truly, too much truffle is never enough.
Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond will be available from Estée Lauder counters nationwide and online from November 2.
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