Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Chef Gordon Ramsay on the one ingredient you should NOT have in your pantry

Do you hear that sucking sound? That's the white truffle oil market going down the drain.

As Season 2 of "MasterChef" returned to Fox on Monday night, there was plenty of tension and drama and leg-pulling. There was also a break in programming to talk about the most ridiculous, worthless cooking ingredient on the market, and why you are a cooking neophile if it has a spot in your pantry:

White truffle oil.

I had no idea that buying white truffle oil requires you to trade in your toque for a dunce cap. But that's what the "MasterChef" judges said, and who is going to argue with chefs Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe "Death Stare" Bastianich. Here's what happened:

One of the finalists, Tracy, went before the judging panel with a dish that involved a poached egg served atop a seared risotto cake. So far, so good -- she appeared within reach of earning the coveted white apron that would allow her to pass into the next round of competition. Then, she reached for a silver cylinder and began drizzling the contents over her dish. You could see the judges visibly brace, noses a-twitching, as they surmised what was happening.

"What is that?" Joe asked sternly.

White truffle oil, Tracy chirped, clearly quite pleased with her dish and her finish and absolutely clueless as to what was unfolding.
"One of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to chef," Ramsay said. "I can't believe you've just done that. I think you just put your apron up in flames."

"A sure sign of someone who doesn't know what they're doing," Bastianich continued. "Do you know that truffle oils are made by perfumists that have no white truffles in them?" He added: "Generally if you go to a restaurant and you see white truffle oil on the menu, it's a good reason to run away."

"But it's ... it's good," Tracy stammered (and, in her defense, though the ingredient is controversial, it is used at some pretty well-respected places ... like the French Laundry). Her face crumpled, she appeared to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Joe walked over to her cooking area and dramatically tossed the cylinder of white truffle oil into the trash. In the end, Tracy promised to never, ever, ever, ever even think of adding white truffle oil to her dishes. And she earned a white apron.


The Sweet Tooth: Paso Almonds brittle

Guinness cupcake for Dad? Sugar Blossom Bake Shop has you covered

L.A. Times' Battle of the Burgers: Vote, or the Godfather will break your legs 

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Fox

Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

"Ramsey reacted to the oil that she used when he's published recipes using truffle oils. "

Huge difference in the oils dude. Infused truffle oils have a slice of truffle in them. Hence what you are paying for is the slice of truffle that is imparting it's flavor and aroma into the olive oil. That slice of truffle is about ten to thirty bucks for the white and less for the black truffle.

Truffle oil is made by perfumers and costs about a dollar to make.


cooking shows keep adding new elements! can you beleive all the cool things chefs are about to do for Extreme Chef????

Nice, I love how Ramsey reacted to the oil that she used when he's published recipes using truffle oils. In Kitchen Nightmares: Davide (season 3, Ep6) the signature dish he suggests they use was homemade Gnocchi with truffle oil. lolz

Thanks for the tip on the French Laundry; I'm sure many have now scratched them off their A-lists.

@Carrie, check youself - they are talking about perfumists making truffle oils, not chefs. You can literally infuse anything with truffels, herbs etc. Like Olive Oil, Butters, etc.

@ Carrie . . . next time try to go beyond the Google search results! And try Googling "Gordon Ramsay WHITE truffle oil recipe". All sorts of respected chefs use BLACK truffle oil. But go into your local Trader Joe's and you can find a bottle of "White Truffle Oil" for $8. Like Bastianich said, "Do you know that truffle oils are made by perfumists that have no white truffles in them?"

@ Carrie. "truffle oil" might be different from "white truffle oil"

@ Carrie, there is a difference between "white truffle oil" used in the program and "truffle-infused oil" that actually has truffle in it.

I happened to google Gordon Ramsay/truffle oil and came up with several recipes of his that included this ingredient he now considers to be evil.
Gordon's truffled mashed potatoes
Gordon't cauliflower soup with truffle oil...

For some of us poor folk who couldn't justify the real truffles on/off season, we'll have to go with what was given, yo.

Well, I guess us food nerds can suck it up and put a block of truffle butter in the freezer...


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts
5 Questions for Thi Tran |  August 6, 2012, 8:00 am »
SEE-LA hires new executive director |  July 31, 2012, 9:34 am »
Food FYI: Actors reading Yelp reviews |  July 31, 2012, 9:16 am »
Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash |  July 31, 2012, 6:04 am »



About the Bloggers
Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.