Black truffles (Tuber aestivum/unicinatum) thrive, in particular, in Northern Italy and can sell for up to $1,500/lb. Erika Kerekes, by contrast, thrives in Santa Monica, California and – according to those who are familiar with her recipes – is considered priceless.
On Saturday, July 17, Erika hosted her second annual “Trufflepalooza” – 13 courses, each containing gratings, sprinkles and essence of black summer truffle. The casual event – which ran from 4 P.M. until after 8 P.M. that evening – took place in Erika’s Santa Monica home and featured her original recipes for fare such as Crostini with Ricotta and Truffle Honey, Truffled Egg Salad and Open-Faced Filet Mignon Sandwiches with Truffle Butter. Attendees of the fungi fete included Elina Shatkin from Toque Magazine; Former Top Chefcontestant, Betty Fraser; and Greg Henry from the Los Angeles food blog, SippitySup.
Erika launched the original Trufflepalooza last year, when she was offered the opportunity to buy Sabatino black summer truffles at a deeply discounted rate. A tradition was born, one marrying her passion for cooking good food with her interest in bringing friends together at the table.
The harvest season for black summer truffles runs from June until November. The harvest season for Erika’s truffled treats occurs in mid-July.