---From the Foreword by David Chang
Ian Purkayastha is New York City's leading truffle importer and boasts a devoted clientele of top chefs nationwide, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Sean Brock, and David Bouley. Read more...
---From the Foreword by David Chang
Ian Purkayastha is New York City's leading truffle importer and boasts a devoted clientele of top chefs nationwide, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Sean Brock, and David Bouley. But before he was purveying the world's most expensive fungus to the country's most esteemed chefs, Ian was just a food-obsessed teenager in rural Arkansas--a misfit with a peculiar fascination for rare and exotic ingredients.
The son of an Indian immigrant father and a Texan mother, Ian learned to forage for wild mushrooms from an uncle in the Ozark hills. Thus began a single-track fixation that led him to learn about the prized but elusive truffle, the king of all fungi. His first taste of truffle at age 15 sparked his improbable yet remarkable adventure through the strange--and often corrupt--business of the exotic food trade.
Rife with tales from the hidden underbelly of the elite restaurant scene, Truffle Boy chronicles Ian's high stakes dealings with a truffle kingpin in Serbia, meth-head foragers in Oregon, crooked businessmen and maniacal chefs in Manhattan, gypsy truffle hunters in the forests of Hungary, and a supreme adventure to find "Gucci mushrooms" in the Himalayan foothills--the land of the gods. He endures harsh failures along the way but rebuilds with tremendous success by selling not just truffles but also caviar, wild mushrooms, rare foraged edibles, Wagyu beef, and other nearly unobtainable ingredients demanded by his Michelin-starred clients.
Truffle Boy is a thrilling coming-of-age story and the incredible but true tale of a country kid who grows up to become a force in the world of fine dining.
- ISBN-13: 9780316383950
- ISBN-10: 0316383953
- Publisher: Hachette Books
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
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TOP PICK IN AUDIO
It was love at first bite. Ian Purkayastha was not enamored with school or sports, but when he tasted truffled ravioli at a fancy Houston restaurant, he knew he had found his calling. Purkayastha was 15, living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His passion for truffles, that noble and wildly expensive white fungus, plus an extraordinary entrepreneurial urge, took him to New York instead of college. He became a truffle dork, hooked up with an Italian importing company, made the rounds of New York’s best restaurants, got a strong foothold in the weird, often shady world of rare food purveyors and remained a man, if a young one, of integrity. By the time he was 18, Purkayastha had been christened the “Prince of Truffles” by Forbes. So maybe it’s not unusual that this 23-year-old foodie wunderkind has written an early account of his life. Truffle Boy, his memoir, read with just the right amount of youthful enthusiasm by Will Collyer, is charming and packed with esoteric info about exotic foods. Purkayastha now has his own company that sources the rarest of the rare, has found the woman of his dreams and is still propelled by the passion that made it all happen.