The first time I sat down to chat with Jayson Mesman, one of the owners of The Truffle Farm in Canberra, was while I was working in the Events Team at Parliament House. I had briefly met him a couple of times at Truffle Dinners around town, so I knew he worked for the AFP training canines, but he also had a special affinity with rescue dogs and trained them to be Truffle Hunt Dogs.
Even with all that information on-board, I wasn’t prepared for the tough Policeman walking towards me with a cute little puppy dutifully following wearing a Learners police dog coat, they were doing a familiarisation walk around Parliament House and on duty! By day Jayson trains security dogs and after hours runs the truffière and hosts Truffle Hunts with “The Pack” – a growing collection of stunning Truffle Dogs.
I was already a big fan of Black Truffles with their dazzling, irresistible aroma and have since enjoyed MANY taste explosion, get in my belly delicious meals at ‘The Truffle Shed’, prepared by the farms very own award winning chef Damien Brabender.
I wanna look great naked, but I also want to eat sweetened baked goods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not work out like ever! Why hasn’t someone figured that sh!t out yet?? #science #randomthoughts Keeping with my ‘eating all the most delicious baked goods and not working out’ theme. Yesterday @damian_brabender prepared a high tea feast fit for the Queen @thetrufflefarm First up… fresh baked scones with truffle cream, honey and figs. #yarm #getinmybelly #thetrufflefarm #canberra #visitcanberra #seeaustralia #tastecanberra #localscan #restaurantaustralia
Being truly besotted with my own pooch pal, Little Chef the dog, I wanted to know more about ‘The Pack’ and the inspiration behind creating the only Truffle Farm in Australia’s capital city, set amongst the foothills of Mount Majura.
Now it’s no surprise to know that Jayson’s truffle story starts with a dog, but not just any dog my friends, a beautiful black rescue Labrador named Samson who got Jayson into truffle farming in the first place.
Hey I found truffles but there is no tree? Does that still count? Also could my coat be any shinier?! Looking pretty darn good for a ten year old if I do say so myself 👌🐶 #stillgotit #labradors #dogsofinstagram #instatraveling #instadaily #dogs #trufflehunting #canberratruffles #truffledogs #truffleseason2016 #cbr #visitcanberra #seeaustralia #tourismaustralia #dogoftheday #instagramdogs #localscancbr #sofranksocial #canberralife #onegoodthingafteranother #puppyeyes #instalab
Together they discovered their truffle hunting talent when the inseparable pair were invited to the largest truffle farm in the world, The Truffle & Wine Co. in Western Australia to see if they could make it as a truffle hunting team back in 2007. Within 10 minutes Samson had found several kilos of truffles and a new career was born! All these years later, Samson has been Jayson’s sidekick and pack leader of the ‘farm hands’ comprising of seven amazing rescue dogs – Simba, Nala, Willow, Bear, Dingo and Max.
The last time I visited The Truffle Farm in Canberra, The Pack had grown to accommodate some adorable rescue pigs named Winnie, Piglet and Olivia (who can jump fences just like the dogs) that dig up the unformed and rotten truffles at the end of the season, and Peking the duck.
Samson took it all in his stride, seemingly unaware of how he had shaped the destiny of a family and inspired the booming Truffle Farm in Canberra to launch in 2016, much to the delight of gastronomers far and wide.
The Truffle Farm has been named by Australian Traveller as one of the top 10 ways to enjoy Australia like a gastronome! So…. If you’re ever in Canberra during Truffle season and want to experience a true paddock to plate experience then there is only one place to go, The Truffle Farm in Canberra, where you can join in on a truffle hunt and then head back to The Truffle Shed to experience extravagant degustation menus.
shenANNAgans was a guest of The Truffle Farm in Canberra (MANY TIMES – Thanks Jayson) but all opinions remain her own.
The Truffle Farm in Canberra
It’s with a heavy heart that last Tuesday morning Jayson said goodbye to Samson. Everyone who was blessed to meet this amazing animal and see him in action are saddened by the sudden and tragic passing of this truly incredible dog.
This time last Tuesday morning we said goodbye to our beloved Samson. He was our reason for doing what we do and the centre of our universe. Our hearts are truly broken by the sudden and tragic passing of my best friend and member of our family. From your human family and canine brothers and sisters we love you Sammy. We would be nothing without you. Thank you for everything
RIP Samson, you have left behind a legend, but The Pack will carry on just as you have taught them to. And to you Jayson, my friend, we raise a truffle loaded Canberra gin in honour of your Samson, and send you BIG sparkly UNICORN kisses with a dash of SASS and MANY sprinkles of LOVE! xxx
So tell me dear reader, have you ever been truffle hunting? And what are some of the most amazing taste explosion, get in your belly delicious meals you’ve eaten or wanted to eat?