Thursday, 26 July 2018

You had me at Veuve and Truffles

Last Thursday night the Hyatt Canberra held its annual Truffle dinner in partnership with Veuve Clicquot and Macenmist Truffles.

Guests were welcomed into the atrium where cocktails were served and a Veuve Clicquot cart was the perfect centrepiece showcasing a preview of the exquisite collection of Champagne waiting to be served.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

Their gala room was transformed into a glamourous setting decorated with candles, bouquets of baby’s breath, ivy leaves and exclusive Veuve Clicquot glass wear. 

Chef Nitin Kumar welcomed everyone and introduced the menu for the evening which was a delicious 6 course degustation featuring Macenmist truffles, perfectly paired with Veuve Clicquot’s finest offerings. The menu included signature dish, Truffle Coconut featuring delectable flavours of seafood, coconut and a touch of tropical.

We were treated to a fine dining experience in an elegant setting yet the room was filled with laughter and shared enthusiasm for the show stopping dishes on our plates.

During the evening we got to sit down with Chef Nitin Kumar to find out a little about what happens behind the scenes and the perfect pairing of Veuve Clicquot and Macenmist Truffles.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak
Chef Nitin Kumar

SP: Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the themed Truffle dinner held at the Hyatt Hotel in partnership with Veuve Clicquot.  

NK: When designing the entire evening our goal was to create a one-off experience, something that people want to talk about. This year we wanted to create an elegant dinner setting that captures the colours of the evening with the bold orange of Veuve Clicquot mixed with the energy of a show kitchen set in the middle of our ballroom.

All of the Truffles used for the dinner were sourced locally from the Macenmist Truffle Farm, at the height of the season – there is no better time to experience truffles. The six courses were creatively designed around the matched Veuve Clicquot vintage and non–vintage champagnes and designed to open people’s minds to the possibilities of Truffle pairing with both locally sourced produce and premium champagne.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

SP: This is the 5th consecutive year you created the themed Truffle dinner for the Hyatt Canberra Hotel. Tell us about the work that goes on behind the scenes to theming a 6 course degustation. 

NK: We involve the whole food & beverage team in produce selection, menu creation, designing the cocktail served tonight, the table setting and the overall feel for the room that you are sitting in tonight. Details matter, and to us the way our guests will feel from the time they enter the room to ending the night enjoying a hot chocolate is always the number one question when finalising each stage – will our guests enjoy this.

It is important that these dishes present something unique to the guest experience and that everyone feels the connection with producer, preparation methods and pairing of champagne. 

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

SP: The dinner was in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, the prestigious brand of which you are an ambassador of. Tell us why Veuve Clicquot aligns so well with the Hyatt Canberra lifestyle?

NK: Veuve Clicquot is an iconic Champagne Brand, which like Hyatt Canberra, is not only steeped in history, but has also achieved tremendous success through innovation led by the legendary Madam Clicquot.

Never afraid to play with conventions, creativity is at the core of everything the Champagne House does. This aligns perfectly with the innovative and creative menu we designed for this year’s Truffle Dinner.

SP: Tell us a little more about Macenmist black truffles & wine, who supplied the delicious Truffles on the evening of the event and most importantly where can we find their products?

In 1997 Co-Owners Richard and Barbara bought and moved onto the property referred to as “Macenmist”. The next ten years saw the initial establishment developed into a vineyard followed by a truffle plantation. In 2008 the name Macenmist was changed to Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines and the first plants inoculated with perigord black truffle were planted. 

In 2015 Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines commenced supplying to the Hyatt Canberra with fresh
black truffle and since that time the partnership has continued to flourish.

This year we continue to develop recipes featuring truffles sourced from Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines. All truffle produce can be sourced “on-farm” and limited products can also be purchased via

SP: What was your favourite dish served as part of the degustation and why?

NK:Every year the team amaze me and I love that we all work together and challenge each other to create dishes that a special to this event and designed for fun as much as the flavours. While I am happy with the whole menu I have to say this year’s favourite for me is the Truffle Coconut. The idea of this dish provided a unique opportunity to explore different flavour combinations, allowing us to be extremely creative and playful. 

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak
Truffle Coconut

SP: It is so wonderful to see a themed dinner of this kind held in Canberra. Are you hoping to be able to offer more of these events at the Hyatt Hotel?

NK:Each year Hyatt Hotel partners with many community events, Embassies and groups to present some truly great events. Besides the Truffle festival we also work with the Latin American Embassies to present a culinary showcase including an evening which showcases a menu that features a least three dishes from every Latin American Embassy represented in Canberra. These sorts of events are focused on Authenticity of food and provide our team an opportunity to work with community groups to learn how to prepare their dishes in traditional methods. Again, the entire evening is planned to suit one theme and ensure all attendees walk away having had a lot of fun with some new experiences along the way. 

The best thing about working with a team like mine, they are always willing to challenge themselves and show to the Canberra community we are not always just about restaurant and event cooking. There is a genuine passion for the community, our cooking and honouring our region and cultural diversity that Canberra offers.  

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I had the ultimate girls night enjoying a stylish table setting, great company, the perfect ambiance and of course delicious dishes perfectly paired with Veuve champagne. What more could a girl want?

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

When I was invited to attend I knew the perfect place to find my outfit would be Momento Dezigns in Manuka and as soon as I walked in to the store I spotted this Mossman long sleeve dress with asymmetrical hemline perfect for the occasion. 

Thank you Hyatt Canberra and Momento Dezigns  for a simply fabulous evening.

Words by Sofia Polak @sofiapolakstyle

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