A small pop-up shop dedicated to the truffle is opening this week for the month of July. Madame Truffles is the brainchild of Simon McCrudden and Bernadette Jenner, two food lovers so impressed with by quality of our burgeoning truffle industry that they pounced at the opportunity to set up a temporary shop. “We’d had a few drinks one night and were talking about how shops are dedicated to the truffle in France, and wondered why that wasn’t happening here with the Australian truffle industry doing so well,” says McCrudden. “We had the opportunity, so we thought we’d do it.”
The opportunity came when McCrudden was left some money by his father, a great lover of good food, who passed away late 2010. “We wanted to use the money to pay respect to him,” he says, “and thought this was a good way to do it.”
The shop will sell truffles from Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania by the gram as well as truffle cutters imported from Italy. As the couple are sailing unchartered waters in terms of demand, they are starting with two and a half kilos of product – one kilogram from Western Australia, one from Tasmania and half a kilogram from New South Wales – and will gauge the customer response. Supply is unpredictable but the beauty of the product is its elusive delicacy.
Madame Truffles is a tin shed inside a warehouse on Yarra Lane, South Melbourne (next to St Ali), which has been designed by Leila Sanderson and Greg Hatton and will be dressed in flowers by Katie Marx. This is an exciting project, but moreover, it’s the acknowledgement of a growing culinary culture in our inner city that’s refreshing. It will be fascinating to see how it’s embraced.
Madame Truffles opens tomorrow (Friday July 1, 10am–6pm) and will be open Thursday to Sunday for the remainder of July.
12–18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne