One of Italy’s most influential chefs, Chef Leveille is closely connected to suppliers of the prized underground tubor of Italy's Piedmont region – from over two decades at his celebrated two-Michelin star flagship restaurant Miramonti L’altro in neighbouring Lombardy.
During the annual harvest and auctions, he personally visits long-standing suppliers he trusts to source the very best white truffles hunted by trained dogs in the autumn forests in Alba, certified by the National Truffle Study Centre.
This year, his culinary tribute to the ‘white gold’ of gastronomy at L Place, Central – launched on September 25 – presents a distinctively personal tribute to the prized ingredient with a contemporary twist.
The star of his gourmet show is an 8-course Truffle Degustation Menu, including a total of 24 grams of white truffle, priced at HK$3,388. Hong Kong gourmets will settle for nothing less, and reservations will inevitably be in hot demand.
The pre-eminent menu samples eight a-la-carte options, introduced with a tantalizing aperitiivo amuse bouche of Mushroom cappuccino, white truffle’s cocoa and salted truffle croissant (HK$328).
The culinary opera formally opens with Hokkaido sea scallops in white sauce and white truffle foam (HK$488).
His delicate Egg 64*C with cauliflower puree, white truffle and crispy sweetbreads (HK$388) is a modern take on the traditional farmhouse truffle marriage, with soft scrambled egg and snipped chives.
Twinning two of the richest tastes on any table is Seared, chilled foie gras cube with white truffle (HK$488). The most traditional white truffle recipe of all on Chef Leveille’s menu is time-honoured Risotto (HK$688) – presented in the authentic ‘Miramonti L’altro-style’ of his Brescia restaurant, with its celebrity following including opera stars Jose Carreras and Andrea Bocelli. Alternatively, simple Tagliolini with butter and white truffle (HK$688) is an opportunity to savour the pure taste of white truffle.
Introducing an Asian, sashimi-style element with modern technique is Hamachi with smoked potato puree and white truffle air (HK$888). Rustic tradition eventually comes to a stunning forefront with the headline main course of tender and crispy Pheasant Supreme, underwood mushrooms “forestiera” and white truffle (HK$988).
Finally, dessert, as fans of Chef Leveille might expect, is an enigmatic work of art and imagination. Paying homage to the earth which provides the ‘gift of the Gods’, is the Piedmont soil, exotic fruit and custard ice-cream with white truffle powder (HK$288).
Alternative 4-course and 6-course samplers of the main degustation menu are also available, priced at HK$1,688 and HK$2,588. They likewise sample dishes on the a-la-carte menu including Hokkaido Sea Scallops, Egg 64*C with cauliflower puree, Risotto “Miramonti L’altro”, Taglioline with butter and white truffle, Hamachi, Pheasant Supreme and the signature ’Piedmont soil’ dessert.
Individually wrapped white truffles bearing the certificatio0n stamp of the National Truffle Study Centre in Alba are also available for sale in L’altro. This luxurious gift is available in quantities of 50g and over, enjoyed either in the restaurant, shaved over dishes, or in special gift boxes that include Michelin-starred recipes from Chef Leveille.
“Truffle is an ingredient I love and respect,” he said. “It's simple, genuine and should not be cooked or worked. It is great enough to raise the glamour of a great plate, standing at the highest levels of perfection of taste that is unmatched, offering a sensory experience unique and unrepeatable.
“But I believe it should not be used on a plate that is not up to its level, because it risks losing meaning. Here is the art of a great chef – being able to perfectly complement the truffle with a parallel expression of aroma and flavour.
“Great cuisine uses great ingredients and the truffle is so perfect that the less it is worked, the best it gives of itself. The Chef is the last link in a chain of excellence for diners to experience the magic of truffle.”