It is the story of a journey that started by being taken as a challenge from a small town in the Langhe, by sailing through the Caribbean Islands all the way to the United States,
landing back in a restaurant in Alba, along the hills of Piemonte, with its truffle markets and its trifolao (truffle hunter), by being deeply rooted in Piobesi d’Alba but expanded in modern laboratories where gastronomic excellence is being produced, regaining flight and momentum towards the open world between aero spatial techniques and experimental truffle forests.
A challenge springing from a small town in the heart of the Langhe
Giuseppe Montanaro, known as “Beppe”, was born in 1939 in Lequio Berria, a small village in the Langhe, lush territory of the lower Piemonte region of Italy, a town that since 2014 is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Territories.
As a young man, Beppe came into contact with a world made of excellent raw materials and traditional recipes and thanks to his tenacity and cooking passion, he began his training at the Savona Hotel in Alba.
At a very young age, his first cooking steps were taken in large kitchens of a well know restaurant, a restaurant that in the 50s was the reference point for all white truffles lovers and source of great recipes of the Piemonte culinary tradition.
Since he is a young man, Beppe is being driven by a curiosity to travel, by his passion for discovering new territories, for broadening horizons, enriching his wisdom. Not yet eighteen, he decides it is time to see firsthand the world that he has heard so much about through stories told by the restaurant patrons. For this reason, he decides to embark as a cook on cruise ships: first the Nassau, then Princess Patricia, The Victoria and The Riviera will take him to the ports and cities of the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Pacific area, Europa and Mediterranean area.
A life adventure and professional training that lasted 8 long years, during a time of excitement and cultural rebirth that depicted these afore mentioned countries in the 60s. First as a Commis, then Garde-Manger, then as a Chef Saucier and then still as an Sous Chef responsible of the artistic buffets, during those years Beppe enriched his career and his culinary training by learning techniques and recipes of the esteemed and well renowned International Cuisine.
1968 – Crowning his first dream
In 1968, having returned to his family in Alba, Beppe now known as “Beppe, The Sailor”, crowned his first dream
by opening “Da Beppe” restaurant in the heart of the city center, putting into practice all he had learned in the sailing years, mostly enhancing the roots and products of a region that, despite the many years of travels, was kept alive in his heart.
The restaurant marks a new starting point: it is here that he meets the very young Domenica, who will become his wife and with whom he begins a new professional as well as a life adventure.
Thanks to Beppe’s ability around the stove and charm in the dining room coupled with Domenica’s management competence, the restaurant is soon referred by the Michelin guide, as the must try restaurant in the area for lovers of Piemonte cuisine: the renown boiled meats cart, the fonduta, the bagna caoda, the Alba risotto, the ravioli al plin, the brasato al Barolo, the bunet are some of the most appreciated dishes by both locals and tourists.
The hero of this regional culinary heritage is the Alba White Truffle, the king of the Piedmont table, the heart of the culinary interest of the endless number of tourists whom, like yesterday and still today, keep visiting the Langhe.
The months of September and January, at the restaurant “Da Beppe” the Alba white truffle is always available in great quantity, every week Beppe and Domenica serve about 350 ounces of fresh truffle to their customers.
Every morning it is being bought at the weekly markets’ small towns of Lower Piemonte region. At Alba, Asti, Murisengo, Moncalvo, Canelli, Cortemilia, Dogliani and Carrù, Domenica is known as “The Truffle Lady”, for her amazing artistry in selecting high quality products, thus establishing forever lasting relationship based on collaboration, esteem and trust with local trifolao.
In 1975 Tartuflanghe is established
Due to its high quality product selection and increasing sale of fresh truffles, in 1975 Tartuflanghe is established, in order to meet the abundant requests coming from customers and first food importers, who are starting to flock to Alba in search of truffles.
Simultaneously, a first great intuition takes shape: why not making, traditional recipes and the truffles themselves, available all year round even outside the short harvest season?
Tartuflanghe comes from the union of the words “Tartufo” and “Langhe”, both representing the essence of such a vision, giving everybody the opportunity to enjoy a unique product, enhancing the gratification of local recipes without being tied to the whims of the season.
Thus, began a preliminary work of carefully coding all of the restaurant recipes, which today they are still at the root of Tartuflanghe products, researching the highest quality of raw resources and the experimenting with innovative techniques for its time. Thanks to the growing appreciation of the first products being born in a workshop, Beppe and Domenica are making the decision to reinvent themselves, putting themselves to the test again, making their dream come true and marking a new evolution: in 1982 they leave the restaurant life, creating the first Tartuflanghe laboratory in Piobesi d’Alba, a small equipped space just behind their home.
When Tartuflanghe becomes a reality, Beppe starts traveling again becoming an advocate of the Truffle specialties world.
Truffle game paté, the famous truffle fondue, the first ready truffle risotto, the truffles preserve are being sold to gourmet stores throughout Piemonte and beyond: Milan, Rome, Venice are starting appreciating the typical Piemonte products created by Beppe. In the meantime, Domenica is in charge of the administrative side of the business, guiding the commercial side of the company, weaving the first relationships with importers all over the world, building a solid network of agents in Italy.
The first – ever – truffle pasta in the world
In 1990, La “Tartufissima” was created in the Tartuflanghe laboratories.
This is another great intuition, fruit of Beppe’s inspiration, which combines the rarest ingredient in the world – truffle- with the most popular Italian product in the world: Pasta!
Presented at Cibus in Parma, Italy, as a novelty, Tartufissima catapults Tartuflanghe onto the international market, followed by numerous requests coming from all over the world: Europe, the United States, Australia and as well as Japan. At this point, the laboratories have to be expanded, the company was moved to a larger location in Piobesi d’Alba, into a new factory with large kitchen space and a production capacity that can meet the growing market’s demand.
In 1992, Tartufissima 19 was presented at the Fancy Food Show in New York City, winning the prestigious “Best New Product of the Year Award”: it is the first time that the prominent figurine rewards a truffle-based specialty, Beppe has won on his own bet at last!
Since then, Tartuflanghe is placed in gourmet specialty shops all over the world, meeting the needs of the most sought-after palates.
Every year the range of innovations keeps expanding, drawing on the legacy of its land, resulting in more than 100 truffles-based recipes currently offered by the company.Innovation – looking towards the futureIn 2005, the Chocolate Atelier
The chocolate plant was opened in 2005 for the production of the famous Sweet Truffle, the typical Piemonte praline, made with Premium chocolate and PGI Piedmont hazelnuts, which started from the classic taste with hazelnuts and is now available in 13 flavors, being appreciated in every corner of the world.
In 2010, the Truffle Perlage
The research process never stops and alongside the traditional recipes, Tartuflanghe through the years, focuses on new methods of truffle preservation as well as on products of unmatched innovation. An ambitious vision that the founders were able to transmit to their two children, Paolo and Stefania, who are both following the path traced by their parents, enriching it with new energies and ideas.
A unique heritage that needs to be preserved and revised, giving the two founders’ vision and ingenuity, a sure future and continuity in time.
The Truffle Perlage was invented in 2010, winner of the “Tendences and Innovation Award” at the Sial in Paris and shortly after, a new plant opened for the production of the freeze dried Truffle: the best way known today in preserving truffle by respecting its organoleptic characteristics and taste.
This latest technique, used in the past for space exploration missions, is now applied by our company to the most remarkable raw resources and gourmet products.
Freeze-drying is the last frontier of innovation and opens up the door to a wide range of excellent products and raw goods: Pesto sauce, strawberries, peaches, capers from Sicily, mozzarella, blue cheese, rose petals and figs.
These are just some of the products being transformed with this highly sophisticated processing method and is being currently offered to the restaurant world.Today Tartuflanghe is present in Michelin starred restaurants all over the world, thanks to its unique and exclusive product list and raw resources.