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Ian Purkayastha Speaker Agent

Ian Purkayastha

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Ian Purkayastha Biography

At age 18 Purkayastha has appeared on the Manhattan food scene by peddling one of the culinary world’s most prized ingredients. Truffles.

Purkayastha grew up in Arkansas, in a family of adventurous eaters. When he was 14 he ate some wild mushrooms that his uncle found in the woods near his parents’ home. Soon he was digging up the forest, looking for edible fungus. A year later he tried truffles for the first time and was hooked. “All I could talk about was truffles and food,” he recalls. “It’s not the kind of thing the average high school kid loves.”

In 2010 Purkayastha sold $900,000 worth to high-end restaurants like Daniel, Jean-Georges and Per Se, where dinner tabs routinely hit $200 per person.

Purkayastha also discovered the dirtier side of the truffle trade. Some competitors pressured him to raise his prices; others passed off cheaper Chinese truffles as more pungent, higher quality black winter truffles.

Purkayastha wants to be more than just an importer. Two years ago he approached Hudec, his parents’ neighbor, about converting part of his 300-acre ranch into a truffle orchard. Hudec, who also raises buffalo, cattle and horses, agreed to invest $5,000 to buy 200 hazelnut trees from a company in Oregon. He spread 50 tons of lyme to make the soil acidic enough for truffles, which will take four years to mature. The men plan to split the proceeds. “His enthusiasm and motivation to succeed is very contagious,” says Hudec. “To see the light in his eye puts light in mine.”

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Ian Purkayastha for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Ian Purkayastha speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Ian Purkayastha for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Ian Purkayastha speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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