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Put on your stretchy pants and tuck in your napkins. Western Australia’s most decadent food festival has unveiled a program of first-class culinary talent for this year’s Truffle Kerfuffle held at Fonty’s Pool in Manjimup from 28 to 30 June 2024.

Chefs Gary Mehigan, Christine Manfield, Amy Hamilton, Paul Iskov, Evan Hayter, Brian Cole and Tony Howell will be joined by sustainable living expert and nine-time author Rebecca Sullivan and sommeliers Emma Farrelly and Foni Pollitt.

From the ground up, the intoxicating aroma of fresh truffle swirls through the crisp air during Truffle Kerfuffle, a weekend filled with delicious mouthfuls prepared by culinary greats, excited to be in the bountiful Southern Forests and Valleys regions.

A genuine country festival held in the most prolific truffle growing region in the Southern Hemisphere, Truffle Kerfuffle is a celebration of Manjimup’s prized ‘black gold’, sought-after by chefs across the globe for their consistent high quality, impossible-to-describe taste and heady, earthy aroma.

Join a weekend of candlelit long table feasts, indulgent dishes created to hero freshly harvested black truffle, intimate fireside cooking masterclasses with acclaimed chefs, truffle dog demonstrations and truffle hunts in orchards, an undercover Marketplace brimming with locally grown produce and delicious morsels, wine sessions and spirit tastings, free cooking demonstrations and more.

Gary Mehigan and Christine Manfield headline Truffle Kerfuffle 2024

Known for his love of butter and lusciously comforting French-inspired food, classically trained and acclaimed chef Gary Mehigan will take guests through a gastronomic truffle journey with a truffle-laden degustation on Friday 28 June in the festival restaurant.

For 12 years, Mr Mehigan’s face was beamed into millions of households across Australia and world during his role as the original host of hit television show MasterChef.

Mr Mehigan said there’s something truly magical about truffles.

“Truffles are dark and dense with a heady and intoxicating fragrance, chefs call them ‘diamant noir’ or black diamonds and I for one love cooking with them,” Mr Mehigan said.

“When the rest of the world is talking about how good Manjimup truffles from Western Australia really are, then it’s time to celebrate…and Truffle Kerfuffle is finally here!”

“So, get ready, we are going to cook, eat and have lots of fun surrounded by people who love the very same things. I can’t wait and I’ll see you there!”

Described as an Australian with a French heart, Mr Mehigan said Manjimup is foodie heaven with beautiful countryside, wonderful wines, spectacular winter truffles and some very special local produce.

Since MasterChef Australia, Mr Mehigan has been as busy as ever, remaining a regular fixture on television screens. His series includes Far Flung and Masters of Taste, he has just filmed ten episodes of National Geographic India’s Mega Festivals as well as being a regular presenter for Seven’s Melbourne Weekender.

Mr Mehigan has authored five cookbooks and his self-titled podcast has included guests such as Nigella Lawson, Pia Miranda, and Maggie Beer.

Christine Manfield will transform the festival restaurant into a sensory feast at East Meets West on Saturday evening, 29 June. As one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, a profuse cookbook author and traveller, Ms Manfield is inspired by the culinary melting pot of global flavours and native ingredients, and she is a keen advocate for keeping it local and supporting community.

This will be the first trip to Manjimup for Christine Manfield.

“This is my first visit, so I am very much looking forward to experiencing being on Noongar Country – from its striking natural environment, those forests and their towering Karri eucalyptus trees, to local food treasures,” Ms Manfield said.

“I hear it is the also the food bowl of the south west, so am sure it will be an immersive experience with many memories to take away.”

Ms Manfield said guests can expect, “a feast of flavour intertwining black truffles with some of our native ingredients underpinned with my signature use of spice; food that speaks of the region.”

Saturday Brunch, ‘Speaking Local’ is synonymous with chef and owner of Albany’s Liberté, Amy Hamiliton. Ms Hamilton only speaks local when it comes to her culinary literature and her love for the region and its truffles shines on the plates at this four-course dining experience that includes Vietnamese dumplings and flowing sparkling wine.

Sunday Brunch, ‘A Place, a Taste and a Story’ will take taste buds to new grounds and leave them with a new-found appreciation of authentic modern Australian cuisine. Fervor’s Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov combines the best local produce with native flavours, melded seamlessly together with amply freshly shaved black truffle.

Sharing recipes, stories and lots of tips and tricks, the limited Chef’s Cabin consists of six masterclasses, each run by an awarded chef including Gary Mehigan, Christine Manfield, Paul Iskov, Evan Hayter of Margaret River fine diner de’scendent and formerly of Arima winery, Brian Cole, WA’s young chef of the year, and Rebecca Sullivan, an expert in sustainable living and traditional cooking techniques from yesteryear. Hosted by Gourmet Traveller’s Max Veenhuyzen, the Chef’s Cabin masterclasses are renowned for personal connections, flowing conversations and include fine wine.

Festival board member Julia Meldrum said that this year’s Truffle Kerfuffle is expected to be popular.

“Truffle Kerfuffle is about celebrating the exceptional produce and the dedicated producers of the Southern Forest and Valleys, and this year to help us do that we have first class chefs who have the culinary pedigree to make every mouthful irresistible,” Ms Meldrum said.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors to Manjimup, get all rugged up with truffle-loving friends, mingle around the fire pit and indulge in long table feasts featuring mountains of fresh truffles.”

Truffle Kerfuffle is the ultimate winter escape for food lovers.

From its initial beginnings in 2011, Truffle Kerfuffle (a not-for-profit community event) has grown into a highlight on the Australian tourism calendar and is on the to-do list of many a traveller and gourmand.

Truffle Kerfuffle is proudly supported by the Western Australian Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, Fonty’s Pool and the Shire of Manjimup.