A new podcast from WA Good Food Guide, Contributing Editor, Max Brearley is set to explore food stories far and wide. Just launched, The Ingredient is billed as a deep-dive into remarkable ingredients, starting with Australian black truffles.
“I’ve been involved with truffles for years now,” said Brearley. “Having been a co-Director of the Truffle Kerfuffle down in Manjimup for three years I thought that my truffle days would be limited, having stepped away early in 2018, but that’s not how it worked out. We had the idea for this podcast a while back but there was never quite time. COVID didn’t give us time either but there came a point where it was an itch that needed scratching. As chance would have it, Georgia Moore [WAGFG, Director] approached me to helm the Truffles Unearthed content and event series and it all just seemed like serendipity. There’s such an appetite for not just the product but the stories behind it.”
The three-part opening series focuses on Manjimup in the Southern Forests region, which produces more black truffle than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Featuring the likes of Gavin and Mel Booth of Australian Traders and chef turned grower David Coomer of Coomer Truffles the series also looks further afield to Australian heavy hitting chefs Peter Gilmore (Quay, Sydney), Lennox Hastie (Firedoor, Sydney) and Mark Best, and to the UK a major destination for Manjimup’s famous export.
Brearley says that there were a few revelations along the way. “To hear that Peter Gilmore only uses Australian truffle in our winter, no longer using European truffle, was a sign of confidence in both our producers and our restaurant scene. I always get a kick, hearing from someone like Pierre Koffmann. He trained a generation of British chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and Marcus Wareing, and still holds influence in those circles. That he’s so enamoured with West Australian truffle is amazing.”
Further seasons are in the works says Brearley, but the challenge is not finding the next ingredient but whittling down a long list of contenders. “We’re not short of fantastic ingredients in Western Australia. Our seafood I think is the envy of many so that may well feature. For obvious reasons WA is our focus at the moment but there’s a world of food and stories out there.”