The Alba truffle slicer, named to tribute the home of the White Truffle, celebrates an age-old culinary ritual. The accessory is designed to combine sculpted form with functionality; twisting steel evokes the intertwining roots where truffles grow, while the curved profile and 18° angle between emphasises the ergonomics of the grip, reduces pressure on the wrist and distributes weight evenly to produce the perfect slice. An adjustment mechanism allows the user to vary the thickness of the slices from 0 to 3 millimetres, and allows the user to completely close the blade so the utensil can be stored away safely. ‘Alba’ is the two-year end product of the “De Truffle” workshop that was launched in 2015 by Alessi, The National Centre for Truffle Studies and the International White Truffle Fair of Alba. At this workshop, fifteen designers were briefed to develop functional solutions for a utensil that has been used in kitchens for 300 years. From the fifteen designs that were developed over this period, Alessi chose to produce the ‘Alba’ truffle slicer designed by Ben van Berkel/UNStudio, taking account of technical feasibility, aesthetics and poetic force. ‘Alba’ is a functional table top microsculpture that offers a new aesthetic for slicing and serving the rare Alba White Truffle.
Alberto Alessi: “Subject to the assessment of the skilled Selection Committee, to the opinion of the public and to their technical feasibility; the one which was chosen is: Alba, designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Berkel who […] had a brilliant insight by bringing the concept back to the primordial typological reference of the item itself: the Plane.”
The prototypes and concepts developed for the “De Truffle” workshop will be exhibited at the “De Truffle. Alessi Design meets the Alba White Truffle” exhibition at Palazzo Banca d’Alba until Nov 26th 2017.
'Alba' Truffle Slicer
UNStudio Ben van Berkel with William de Boer, Marco Conte, Thomas Blundell and Tom Hobson
Alessi Alessi with consultancy of Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo and Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d'Alba