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Monday, February 27, 2012

4th Annual Truffle Fest -- a good time was had by all


Dr. Shannon Berch with Dr. Trappe and Susi Gott Segur
I hope my friends, Susi Gott Seguret (an amazing chef and accomplished photographer), Dr. Tom Michaels (the biggest producer of black winter perigord truffles in the U.S.), Dr. Jim Trappe (researcher, professor and author of more than 60 books), Dr. Shannon Berch (research consultant from BC) and the guys from PAQ won't mind me hijacking these pictures from Susi's FB page.  I neglected to get pictures of all the folks I wanted to mention here while I was at the festival so I'm having to seek them out.  Dr. Trappe was such an interesting speaker.  He got his funding through a very interesting happenstance Wells Fargo connection.

Tom Michaels, Tennessee Truffles
Who knew that WF execs actually helped the truffle research for North America get started?  I didn't know how closely related my history and theirs were connected until I heard it at the festival. I wish they'd come back and fund some more research.  We need a lot more work to unlock the secrets.  (Most of you probably don't know that I retired from Wachovia prior to the Wells Fargo buy-out.)

Emanuele (the handsome Italian who spoke nearly flawless English) and Ian of PAQ talked about the marketing side of the truffle business and I so appreciated their candor and honesty.  The truffle business is a challenge -- no matter whether you're a grower or a seller.

It wouldn't hurt for every truffle grower and anyone just thinking about joining the truffle fray to spend a little time with  Dr. Shannon Berch.  I really enjoyed her presentation as well.  I learned a lot from all the speakers.

Ian and Emanuele (in the middle) from PAQ Truffles NYC
Go Here For The Full Series
It really pays for truffle growers to take advantage of opportunities like this.  Hearing things I've heard before presented in a different way is always helpful to me.  There's nowhere else in the world I could have gotten the information I was offered in that venue in the way it was presented.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  My only regret is that I couldn't spend the whole weekend there.  Just too much going on in my little corner of the world. Thanks Frankie Lemmon for putting it on.  I look forward to next year.

Before the Festivities began.
Some of you may remember that I said I would post some pictures from the Have a Heart Dinner a couple of weeks ago.  I gave it some thought and realized that without permission from the folks who were photographed, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to put them out here.  However, here's a little taste of what the room looked like.  It was a great party.  We'll do it bigger and better next year.