As we embarked on yet another journey of fresh, local, and new product exploration of an artisan nature with our procurement of a whole Berkshire Hog
from Wooly Pigs
, we wanted to not only discover new tastes and flavors, but to expose our clients to the nature of what we do…cook! Cooking is not only applying heat to food, yet an entire commitment to finding new and interesting sources for sustainable ingredients, applying the best and most natural methods, and showcasing (while supporting) our community, all-the-while creating great tasting dishes. In fabricating this ever-popular “Wooly Pigs
” Berkshire Hog, we wanted to truly create something unique and flavorful for our membership and guests. With this mission in mind and complete utter respect for the animal that just sacrificed it's being for us, some of the new things we created were Guanciale
which is the cured hog jowls similar to that of pancetta, usually only found in artisan delis and shops. This was very cool to see through to fruition. It was even tastier than pancetta. Another was Culatello,
which is translated literally into "the heart of the prosciutto". This was probably our favorite amongst us chefs, as the product came out simply stellar. To say we were excited was a major understatement. Amongst many others, we also cured and hot smoked some excellent Smoked Maple Cured Belly, which found it's way onto the scallop course. Sweet and Spicy Coppa, Lardo and Salumi also proved to be outstanding. We went so far as to puree the Lardo in our Paco Jet to make a "rillette-style" spread to apply to the fresh olive breads that were presented. We were very excited to cook with these delicacies that had been aging in our coolers since we butchered the whole hog and placed it in cure in late April. Here are a few visuals...
Last week we decided to feature a special offering of the products we had labored over, to really bring the guests into our circle as to what we had been doing. This turned out to be very successful and extremely well received. The dinner was great, the food tasty and the response phenomenal! What was probably the best aspect of the whole entire dinner, was that Jim, Alex and I and a handful of our talented brigade of cuisiniers were totally inspired about the creations and the artisanal food we had just produced. From hand rolled and chitarra-cut pasta, to nurtured and massaged salumi, to extremely tasty culatello crostini, to silky and rich Florentine olive oil gelato...this was good cooking! No bullshit at all! A Tuscan inspired Summer menu; simplistic and comforting! Thank you Heath for raising such tasty swine!