Towards the end of 2016, Topaz was honoured to host Michelin-starred chef, and champion of Provençal cooking, Christian Etienne, for one of our earliest Les Étoilés Michelin de Topaz events. For one evening, he dazzled diners with a seven-course menu that put truffles, the culinary equivalent of fairy dust, into the spotlight. This warm-hearted, generous chef also left us with some of his favourite ideas and recipes for using truffles. Including one of our favourites, a carpaccio of cured duck breast, with black winter truffle shavings and a rocket salad.
Truffles are the fruiting body of a fungus that grows wholly underground in a complex relationship with the roots of certain trees. They have been celebrated for centuries for their delicacy and earthy, musky flavours. These all come to the fore in Topaz’s carpaccio, which uses the finest ducks from Gers in Southwest France to ensure the very best flavours shine through.
To create the carpaccio — traditionally a cured beef dish — we cure the breasts in rock salt, Kampot Pepper and truffle oil which imbue this flavourful meat with unique tones and texture. Once they’re ready, they’re sliced into delicate featherweight slivers, before finally being paired with black winter truffle shavings, beautifully offset with the addition of peppery rocket leaves.
For a starter that perfectly primes your taste buds for more riches to come, this dish is difficult to surpass.