Interview with Gaetano Coco

Gaetano Coco is the founder and director of Master Tuber in Meyrin, Switzerland’s foremost truffle processing company and supplier of this precious commodity to Le Café des Bains. Here, he tells us all about his profession, under the watchful eye of Suzy, his truffle dog.

Are truffles a passion for you?
I was born in Italy, which means that I was born and bred on truffles. I supply Le Café des Bains with between seven and eight of the nine available varieties. Truffles grow in different seasons depending on whether they are of the summer variety or from Périgord, Burgundy, Alba etc. This year for example, we there was a drought in Italy that lasted a couple of months, with the Alba truffle harvest – which is the most prestigious variety of all – down by three-quarters! That means that this particular truffle will be the smallest and rarest, and since we will not be able to supply everyone, it will unfortunately be the most expensive. This will actually be the case for all varieties except the black truffle, the famous Tuber Melanosporum, which had a 90% harvest. It is constantly watered, so it did not suffer from the drought.

Can you find truffles in Geneva?
Absolutely, you do occasionally find summer or Burgundy truffles! Geneva is at 400 metres above sea level, and with truffles growing between 400 and 1200 metres, you do find them there, but only when conditions are ideal. That was the case for example in 2015, but not in 2016 or 2017 due to the irregular rainfall.

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