Our Story and Team
The Truffle Shuffle Story
HOW IT STARTED
Truffle Shuffle was founded as the honest truffle company. While working together at The French Laundry in Napa, Jason McKinney, Tyler Vorce, and Sarah Rundle fell in love with truffles and the overall, unforgettable experience they could provide. The trio launched Truffle Shuffle at the end of 2018. The company began with the sole mission of bringing clarity and integrity to the complex world that is truffles for friends, chefs, and consumers alike.
A TRUFFLE OBSESSION
Truffle Shuffle has come a long way since then, working with truffle-hunting families all over the world to source honest, traceable, fresh truffles for passionate, Michelin-rated restaurants and home chefs across the country. The following year, Truffle Shuffle serendipitously launched a shelf-stable product line that began with the Balinese Truffle Salt, then giving the opportunity to release the Brown Butter Truffle Honey. Both products were picked up by Whole Foods for a global deal, and are now also available in a few other retailers and on Amazon.
HELLO TRUFFLE SHUFFLE
When Covid-19 hit, and restaurants began to close, the small team, now 6--with the addition of French Laundry legend Leah Williams, and skilled chef and plant-whisperer Ian Rosenstrauch--knew they had to adjust their business model to survive. The first live virtual cook-along-experience was launched in March, shipping ingredient kits with items measured out for Truffle Risotto (including fresh Spanish black truffles and a wooden truffle shaver). In a matter of 3 hours, Truffle Shuffle was sold out of everything, even the 20 pounds of fresh truffles they had on hand.
Truffle Shuffle has continued to offer online cooking classes since with such unbelievable support from the community of fellow chefs and patrons. Ingredient kits are shipped overnight a couple days before class, culminating with a group zoom class filled with step by step instruction led by Tyler and Jason, along with some humor and tales of the kitchen, and a sense of pride, accomplishment, and a delicious dinner when the class is over.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
In addition to public Sunday classes, Truffle Shuffle--now made up of 56 incredible, hard-working, hospitality professionals, the majority of those laid off due to COVID-19--also offers private classes for smaller groups and companies. Pivoting the business model during the pandemic has resulted in drastic growth, enabling Truffle Shuffle to hire 40 laid-off hospitality individuals, cook with (to-date) 200,000 guests virtually, and continue philanthropic efforts in their local community.
Our Fearless Leaders
CO-FOUNDER / COO
Tyler is originally from Maine and started working in kitchens when he was fourteen years old. At sixteen, he got a job as a dishwasher for Pete Morency at Pier 77 restaurant in Cape Porpoise, Maine. There he learned the demands of the kitchen and the lifestyle of a cook. He then attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, worked at Dovetail restaurant in New York City, and was the expediting sous chef at The French Laundry.
CO-FOUNDER / CEO
Jason got his start in his home state of Georgia at the Sea Island Resort as Chef de Tournant before moving to Napa and working at The French Laundry. While working as Chef de Partie and poissonnier, Chef McKinney earned the restaurant’s award for Chef of the Year. From a family of self-starters, Jason has always had the desire to start something of his own.
Sarah graduated from The Academy of Art University with a degree in Documentary Photography. She began working in restaurants after college, and a few years later found herself at The French Laundry, where she met Jason, Tyler, and Ian. After The French Laundry, she worked harvest at Odette Estate Winery, and was a captain at Benu--another three-Michelin-star restaurant in San Francisco. Sarah is the jackie-of-all-trades within Truffle Shuffle; from picking thyme leaves to tying bows, chances are Sarah probably did it.
Meet The Directors
Director Of Culinary Operations
Ian, like so many others in our organization, began cooking at a young age. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Theta Kappa honors society from Hudson County community college. Ian worked at the famous, Rainbow Room in New York City. Needing a change of pace, Ian set off on a cross-country road trip that landed him in Yountville, California. Ian found success working in the culinary garden, farm, and later, The French Laundry kitchen. Since Ian's joining Truffle Shuffle in January 2019, he quickly became an extremely valuable member of the team. He is currently the Director of Operations and Culinary Director.
Director of Products
Also a French Laundry alum in 2014, Christina was more recently a sous chef and butcher for Statebird Provisions & The Progress. Her time managing the commissary provided her with a breadth of experience for managing people, culture and intricate aspects of business. Before entering the culinary industry, Christina graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Marketing and worked in Advertising for almost a decade.
Director of CPG
Andy Hagedon spent much of his young adult life taking on most every job imaginable in several restaurants to help pay for his college education. From line cook to busboy, he learned much about day-to-day restaurant operations and the difficult work load every team member shoulders to get through service. After graduating with a degree in Journalism/Public Relations, Hagedon managed teams, budgets and clients at GCI/Atlanta and Cohn&Wolfe PR agencies, working on large accounts like IBM and Coke. Seeking greater autonomy and financial incentives, he landed a government sales position with Southern Company and proceeded to break sales quotas and earn awards. His hustle and get-it-done attitude learned in restaurants long ago continues to power his entrepreneurial spirit today. Currently, he and his wife run a successful marketing and communications freelance business from Charleston, SC and enjoy eating their way around the world. For Truffle Shuffle, Hagedon helped steer marketing by creating visual and written content and develop the brand. He is not currently working with Truffle Shuffle any longer, but remains their biggest supporter!