Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Truffle brings in record auction price

AP , HONG KONG

Chef Umberto Bombana displays a 1.5kg Alba white truffle in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

PHOTO: EPA

A Hong Kong property tycoon and his wife have reportedly paid 125,000 euros (US$160,406) for a huge white truffle, which may be the most expensive of its kind ever purchased.

Gordon Wu and his wife outbid connoisseurs from France and Italy to win the 1.5kg Alba white truffle from an international auction on Sunday, said a spokeswoman for the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which hosted the Hong Kong part of the auction on Tuesday.

"They're very unique. They're found all together and they've got a beautiful shape," said hotel cook Umberto Bombana of this year's prize Alba truffle, which is made up of three portions, each the size of a human palm.

Bombana will prepare the giant truffle for a five-course banquet hosted by Wu tomorrow.

Proceeds from the auction -- which also featured five smaller truffles weighting 220g to 520g sold to other Hong Kong bidders -- will go to Mother's Choice, a Hong Kong charity that cares for pregnant girls and organizes adoptions, Hardt said.

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