Truffle Man enjoys sweet smell of success in Dubai
Italian truffle expert Massimo Vidoni makes a killing with his fab fungi….
Step inside any fine dining restaurant in Dubai and the unmistakeable whiff of truffle will dance around your nostrils. Dubai’s love affair with this pungent – and very pricey – food is being capitalised upon by an Italian entrepreneur who now delivers the exotic delicacy direct to Dubai doorsteps.
Massimo Vidoni, nicknamed The Truffle Man of Dubai, is sourcing and importing high quality truffle to Dubai and then shipping it to customers at home. Previously Italtouch, a wholesale business selling truffle to luxury restaurants, Vidoni spotted there was an appetite from consumers to have the premium product delivered to their door and launched a user friendly website to help truffle addicts get their fungal fix. It’s thought he’s now handling a business worth Dhs50 million per year.
At trufflemandubai.com, fresh black winter Australian truffle with a “strong, nutty, sweet flavour” is priced at Dhs820 for 100g. The more abundant summer truffle is a cheaper option at Dhs240 for 100g. As well as pure truffle, Vidoni also sells mustard, mayonnaise, salt, oil, honey, and hot sauce flavoured with the popular foodstuff. A 250ml bottle of Italian olive oil infused with French black truffle essence costs Dhs144. “Not all truffle oil is equal,” Vidoni explains. “Ours is used by the top chefs in Dubai. Its complex flavour will inspire greatness in the kitchen. Just remember that when it comes to truffle oil, a little bit goes a long way.” The e-commerce site also sells truffle slicers and gift bags for the true truffle lover, along with high end balsamic vinegars and caviar.
Growing underground near tree roots over a number of years, truffles are a type of edible fungi – a posh mushroom, so to speak. Cultivated in the southern hemisphere, Vidoni explains, differing varieties of truffle are picked all year round but have a shelf life of only a couple of weeks. Such is the high price of truffle that harvests are shrouded in secrecy to protect their location, which are often family secrets handed down through generations.
Vidoni has been in the truffle trade for almost 35 years and has built an iron-clad reputation among Dubai chefs for his superior product. He supplies many of the city’s top eateries including Roberto Segura’s TABŪ at The St. Regis Downtown; Hakkasan at Atlantis; Alici at Bluewaters Island; Via Toledo, the Italian restaurant inside Address Beach Resort on JBR; perennial DIFC favourite Zuma; restaurants within the Burj al Arab hotel; and the Michelin-starred Ossiano, which was recently listed as the highest rated restaurant in the 2022 Gault&Millau UAE guide.
Vidoni began his truffle journey in New York while studying sales and marketing in the 1990s. After bringing truffle from his home in Italy and selling it to restaurants in New York, he quickly expanded his network to Chicago and Las Vegas, followed by Brazil and Argentina. Dubai and its glitzy restaurant scene was the next logical step. The charismatic Vidoni has since appeared on CNN and the BBC talking about his beloved truffle. “I’ve always loved travelling, discovering new places and going to the exact source of foods I crave,” he says.
For more information, visit italtouch.com