June 24, 2020
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Truffle Shuffle

Truffle Shuffle

COVID has fouled up a lot of business plans. Here’s one.

Truffle Shuffle is a San Francisco startup, planned by some French Laundry alumni. Its purpose was to sell truffles to restaurants in a more sensible and reliable fashion. That makes great sense, but along comes COVID and their customers are closed and the entire restaurant business is in peril.

Undaunted — and with lots of truffles on hand — Truffle Shuffle pivoted to what’s left: home cooks. So this Sunday, they’re teaching a hands-on (but socially distant) class on truffle risotto. I just received my kit, complete with a little satchel of truffled rice, some truffled salt, and even ingredients for making a cocktail shaker of Bees Knees with truffled honey.

This makes a lot of sense. People like risotto, but my impression is that they don’t cook it that much. There’s a lot of tosh about risotto — indeed about lots of Northern Italian cooking — that amounts to speculative distinctions between really good and even better. It helps if you occasionally eat chicken, and therefore have stock on hand, but nowadays you can buy decent stock at the store. The mechanics of risotto aren't hard, and they’re actually easier at home, where you can hang out for a few minutes around the stove and chat, than in a restaurant where people are waiting for dinner. But there’s enough variation that it will be interesting to see and hear how serious cooks approach it.

The course and its kit serves two (four if this is a primi) and costs $125. You can save 10% with the coupon Eastgate10. I’ve been comped, though I was planning to order a kit anyway. The class is 4PM Pacific/7PM Eastern this Sunday.