Sunday, May 27, 2012


on march 11th of 2o12 I handed the historic kitchen at the shelburne inn over to my linecook and a hired gun- so that I could attend the premier pork event of the year- cochon555’s fourth us tour….. this sunday, the day of the sabbath and a day to rejoice pig itself- we will be conjoining on an eatery in downtown portland, oregon (pdx)- the original, a classy modern joint with a high bar, a pig orientated chef and the space to host 400+ swine lovers… well 402 counting me and my baby (who got us the $350 tickets to this pugnacious pig affair) so the plan is- 5pm VIP entry . 5-6pm tasting . 5:15-6pm butcher demo by tracy smaciarz of heritage meats washington . 6:30 the votes are open . 6:45 heritage hog bbq by ethan powell + tobias hogan of EaT oyster bar . 7pm dessert . 7:15 champagne toast . 7:30 awards…. a friendly competition when five chefs cook for one cause- pig ........! converging on downtown pdx I was reminded that one of my wisdom teeth had gone on full blown swollen… I couldn’t pass this up… in we went, stopping to enjoy a table of cultured milk curds provided by cheese bar of portland….. next it was on to trays of hamma hamma oysters on the half shell- as swollen as I was I consumed 2 to 3 dozen…. slurpin ‘em down one after the next… entering the event we are blessed with mason jars full of bacon- on every fucken table in the room- thanks brady…. first room we hit was booming with the presents of chef adam sappington of the country cat dinner house and bar- the berkshire was his hog of distinction… he and his wife made scrapple chips with ranch, all pork slow buns, bacon & butterscotch cookies (I went back twice for these pork poppers), texas bbq baked beans- this crew is going to be hard to beat…… into the big room with chef vitaly paley of paleys place- my down the block competition years ago when I was at tribeca…. Nonetheless he is a bad ass james beard award winning chef and the former cochon555 prince of pork…. vitaleys’ red wattle hog offerings included- black pudding with rich pork broth, spicy pork belly buttercup, face & feet croquettas (these were fricken off the hook), mad mans pork loaf with molasses mustard and a 3 layer terrine of pig…. moving on past vitaley yields naked dead pig parts and master butcher from heritage meats Washington- tracy smaciarz… cutting a large black from the collective… today the some culinary students and tracy worked together to create a series of essays and photographic essays on complete animal utilization… bravo guys- bravo…… on the corner of the room I found the crazy ass team from the woodsman tavern- with one of the crew swingin’ a huge chainsaw in the air for the local paparazzi film team…. their offerings were given up by a duroc hog from worden hill farm…. chef jason barwikowski is another pdx bad-ass, at clyde common he barrel-ages his own spirits in the basement…. his menu for the evening included- kielbasa two ways, kishka pierogi with apple butter vinaigrette, bigos- hunter stew (this was piglicious) and braised pig head….. opposite corner of the large room lay ms. naomi pomeroy of beast….. but I was diverted by a tiny asian woman named rita jia you of lucky strike…. she blasts us with the true taste and aromas of sichuan cuisine, she hails from where the pig is a pillar of good eating and it shows….. salty, spicy, pungent parts of the tamworth, this chick kicks ass…. little hibachi grills pour flavor filled vapors around the room…. a stop at the sokol blosser table for a glass of organic oregon pinot noir, then on to naomi pomeroy and beast… the black shirt chick brigade of beast converted a mckinley farms large black into: foie gras poached pork loin with aged sauvignon blanc pickled fennel, devilled pork mousse with oregon black truffle toasted brioche, celery-apple slaw, mini parker house rolls with 16 hour grape-wood smoked pork shoulder with long cooked collards and crispy shallots, glazed pork belly with angelino plum & ginger confiture and micro mustard greens, pork pudding with cinnamon sugar cracklin’s and vanilla bean whipped lardo- this plate was like a little full on rock show but just too much going on for me to enjoy one thing…. that’s it- all the pork was behind me….. but out rolled brady with ethan powell & tobias hogan of EaT oyster bar pushing a boos block with two huge ass smoked pork butts and a half dozen southern sides….. time to get my eat on one more time….. watching them fill a tower of over 400 champagne flutes was very impressive but my vote went to- adam sappington, but he did not leave as the prince of pork 2o12….. I will await the next cochon555 event with straight up exuberance…. maybe in another city, maybe in the great city of portland, oregon….. I hope that you will join me heather carosi, I hope that you will join me…. one more glass of champagne before we hit the road for the coast of washington state… this was one of the most memorable food event of my life I am so glad we shared these moments together…..! I hope that people understand that we must consume these heritage breed beasts to keep the breeds alive for generations to come…. our children deserve foods not born in test tubes….