Truffle Kerfuffle 2018 | Manjimup | Fonty's Pool
After our first Truffle Kerfuffle festival experience last year we were hooked so there was no doubt we would attend again (and again, and again). Held at the end of June at Fonty’s Pool in Manjimup, this stunning location transforms into all things truffle. This is a festival for serious foodies, but it’s about more than just a pretty Instagram post and stuffing your face. It’s about celebrating the pristine environment of the Southern Forests, meeting the farmers, growers and producers, and learning about the Truffle industry. To be honest, that is truly what makes me want to come back every single year. This is your down to earth, real, honest, heart warming, country festival.
We decided to camp this year, yes, in a tent, in winter, in Manjimup. It was so much easier being steps away from all the festival goodness and although it was chilly (so thankful for our powered site and my electric blanket!) we were blessed with mostly blue sky days. And what else are you going to do in Winter besides getting rugged up and eating yourself silly?! We may however upgrade to a caravan or cabin next year.
It really blows me away that Manjimup produces nearly 90% of Australia’s annual truffle harvest, and the news at the festival was that Australia is on track to eclipse France in total yield of black Perigord truffles this year. Just incredible to have this world class truffle producing town in our own backyard!
The festival gives you plenty of opportunities to eat everything truffle, the hardest part is deciding what to do and hoping you don’t miss something special. This year we indulged in Scott Brannigan’s Hunters Breakfast, Sam Aisbett’s A Winter’s Night, the Closing Party with Stuart Laws and a fabulous Shed Wine Session with Rachael Niall, along with plenty of eating and drinking in the marketplace and some always entertaining cooking demonstrations hosted by Tony Howell. There were other great events we missed - Guy Grossi’s Feast and Fire opening night, Sue Hutchins Sunday Brunch, some amazing satellite events, and the Chef’s Cabin Series - but you just can’t do it all (and live to tell the tale!).
The events this year ran uber smoothly but, even if you didn’t go to a ticketed soiree, the food in the marketplace was banging. Marron from Fervor Food, truffle custard donuts and cheese and truffle pretzel cobs from the Heritage Wine Bar, marron and truffle pie from Young George… the list goes on, but I’ll stop because your mouth is watering and that’s mean. I definitely felt like I got more than my annual feed of truffles over those two days!
This is a festival that is worth supporting, even if you don’t like truffles, even if you just go to support the people that make it happen, you will feel all the feels, I promise. Massive props to all involved and Max Brearly and Sarah Hewer for leading the charge. Bring on 2019!