What do truffles taste like? Some would argue they have an intertwining mushroom/meaty like flavor that tantalizes the senses and leaves the mind a bit boggled. Most would agree, that truly they simply taste like luxury. When a chef implements truffles as the feature of their dish, a dining experience enhances from just eating to savoring. Restaurateur Adrian Ignat understood this phenomena when he established Taste of Truffles, a wholesaler and retailer of the delicacy. The Romanian native has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. Starting as a busboy when he first immigrated to the US, Ignat worked his way up to manager, and now to successful business owner. In the business of truffles, the entrepreneur is at the mercy of what grows naturally, and what the dogs can harvest from their hunt in the woodlands of Eastern Europe. Ignat provides the consumer a Taste of one of the most elusive ingredients of the kitchen, hence its coined name “Diamond of the kitchen”. Industry Rules sits with the diamond dealer, and discusses the thrill of the Truffle hunt and all the new exciting developments with Taste of Truffles.
RA: You’ve said yourself that Truffles are very delicate and difficult to grow, which I imagine would dissuade a lot of people from going into the truffle business. What was your impetus for starting Taste of Truffles?
AI: French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles “the diamond of the kitchen”. Truffles are delicate and difficult to grow. They also grow slowly, have short seasons, and don’t last long once out of the ground. Finding them is difficult. Must people use dogs (hunters) to find them underground.
Commercially cultivating, truffles is also extremely difficult and unreliable, so we are at the mercy of what grows naturally each year, making the crop very valuable and unique.
With this, I always wanted to get into this business.
RA: What is your background in the culinary world and how has your experience help in establishing Taste of Truffles?
AI: I’ve worked in restaurant industry for over 20 years. I first came to the United States and worked as a buss boy and quickly moved up to a server. From there, I became a Capitan server and managing an Italian cuisine restaurant in New Jersey. Working in the industry, I developed the passion for great ingredients and off course truffles.
The truffle hunting is a 10 years old business in Romania and the eastern Europe where I came from. The areas/woods where never harvest for truffles. So, in the Eastern European woods are naturally made for harvesting for truffles and also wild mushrooms (porcini, chanterelle, wild berries, fruits).
RA: As a culinary expert how do you like to use truffles in your dishes?
AI: Because more aromatic molecules in truffles are soluble in alcohol, it can be used to carry a more complex and accurate truffle flavor than oil without the need for synthetic flavorings. This is great with our Truffle Caviar (Pearls/bubbles).
RA: Truffle hunting sounds like a pretty cool experience. What is the process like?
AI: They are the people that gave me an intense passion for this incredible “Diamond of Culinary World”. I have so much respect for the natural habitat and truffle hunting tradition, a love for the truffle dog (the real superheroes during the hunting) and, of course, a big passion for its valuable use in the kitchen with traditional recipes.
RA: How has Taste of Truffles evolved since being established in 2015?
In June, we opened our Taste of Truffles Tasting ROOM (show room). This is where I partnered with talented celebrity chefs and restaurant owners We offer a 9-12 course tasting menu using the greatest ingredients (truffles, caviar, Wagyu beef, seafood) and create dishes and recipes for our clients to enjoy.
It’s truly an amazing experience. The room is located in Marlboro, New Jersey. I’m so excited at this accomplishment.
We also launched several products like:
Salts: Black truffle and red wine infused, Smoked Sea salt with Black truffles, Saffron Sea salt and Truffles
The TRUFFLE DUST (truffle powder seasoning) with White and Black truffles
RA: What is your favorite thing about “The Diamond of the Kitchen”?
AI: Because of their high priceand their strong aroma, truffles are used sparingly. Supplies can be found commercially as unadulterated fresh produce or preserved, typically in a light brine. Their chemical compounds infuse well with fats such as butter, cream, cheeses, avocados, and coconut cream.
We are bringing new products every year, like the Truffle Dust a trade mark of Taste of Truffles. to our, (powder seasoning) with 100% Natural ingredients and real Truffles an easy way to enjoy truffles every day and everywhere, just sprinkle on your hot food.
You can follow Adrian Ignat and his Taste of Truffles brand via Instagram @Taste_of_Truffles.
Please visit TasteOfTruffles.com for more information.