The Winning team from A Voce
Chef Missy Robbins (center) with sous chefs Adam Nadel and Hillary Sterling won the audience over with their Italian-inspired menu including pig's head terrine, prosciutto cotto, polpetti meatballs, and bacon-filled tortellini.
Sara Bigelow from the Meat Hook
With saws, picks, and boning knives, Sara took apart an entire Berkshire hog from Percy Thomson Meadows to the delight of the crowd, who could buy raffle tickets to win the butchered parts.
Missy Robbins of A Voce's Winning Menu
We're big fans of Missy Robbins, but she really outdid herself with this menu: Testa (pig's head terrine, calabrian chili, lemon, and marjoram), Fegato (a smoky and sweet liver, cippoline, dried grapes, pine nuts, and balsamic bite), Prosciutto cotto (ham and egg, black truffles, and fontina), Polpetti (meatballs with ricotta, amazingly fragrant fennel pollen, and San Marzano tomatoes), Tortelli (bacon filled pasta, pork brodo, and brussels sprouts) and Stufato (feet, skin, cicerchie, and whipped cotechino).
Robbins said her Berkshire hog from Vermont Heritage Grazers helped her branch out to learning some new techniques, like making bacon in only 5 days and curing her own prosciutto.
Manhattans and The Cochon Sour from Templeton Rye
You wouldn't necessarily expect a good rye out of Iowa, but this prohibition-inspired rye whiskey became Capone's favorite, and made its way into speakeasies all the way to our fair city.
Crispy Pata from Lea Cohen of Pig & Khao
Leah's entire team embodied the "eat this!" friendliness that all pork-pushers should master. While we appreciated the smoky punch of her spiced chicharron and the "somehow this works" combo of fat-washed rum and glazed pineapple in her potent shooter, it was this crispy pata that scored highest by our count: the liver sauce added a bit of spice, microgreens brightened the entire dish, and pickled green mango brought a sweet acidity that helped cut through the melting, fatty pork.
Olde Salt Oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters
Evidently oysters crave a balance between clean rivers and salty bays, and where they've decided to settle is rather distinguishable by the way they slurp. Rappahanoock River Oysters in Virginia focuses on history, quality and sustainability, and their Virginica oysters are heavily monitored for ideal salt and temperature levels to bring the sweetest, saltiest, freshest oysters to the table. They shucked both sweet oysters from the brackish Rappahannock river and Olde Salts from nearer to the ocean, with a salt level at 35 parts per 1000.
"They're very good", a passerby shot in my ear, just in case I was on the fence. I wasn't—they're killer.
Shanna Pacifico from Back Forty West
The Brazilian flare on Shanna's menu brought a touch of heat that her Tamworth hog from Brambly Farms in Massachusetts could totally handle. Her cheese-and-bacon-stuffed pastry was insanely rich, but the light touch of her earthy feijoada with sauteed kale and smoky black beans really hit home.
Chef Elizabeth Faulkner of Krescendo
Chef Faulkner took her entire Red Wattle hog from Lazy S. Farm in Kansas into account when building her menu: "I wanted to find out it was eating," she said, and used the dark rye and barley that made up the hog's diet in her pasta. She took the shoulders and butt, roasted them in her pizza oven, cut them up with softrito and root vegetables, then added chilies and fennel for a "barnyard smell" that was meant to pair perfectly with the Rioja nearby.
"I really made this a tribute to that pig," she said. "I broke it down and was like, wow, this is so beautiful. I took a bunch of the ribbon fat and made a lard biscuit, and took the pork belly and cured it for a few days and then confited it. Then I made a caponata that's sort of sweet and spicy to go with the bourbon pairing. I gave this pig butterflies and bowties."
Chef Elizabeth Faulkner from Krescendo
Chef Faulkner cured the pork belly from her Red Wattle for three days before confiting it down, and used the lard for the biscuit underneath.
Sara Bigelow from the Meat Hook
100% of the raffle ticket proceeds for the butchered Berkshire went to benefit the culinary students at the CIA who helped with the event.
A Berkshire hog in all its parts
Butcher Sara Bigelow from The Meat Hook took apart this entire Berkshire hog from Percy Thomson Meadows. Here's the spread that was raffled off with owners Kenny and Dana Assard.
Mezcales de Leyenda
Danny and Carlos from Mezcales de Leyenda gave us a lesson in their line of 100% agave mezcals, all cooked in a ground pit covered with lava rock for 3 days with oak, then fermented in a wooden oak vat and double-distilled in copper or stainless steel.
Cheese Bar from Enjoy Craft American!
When you're inhaling plates of pork, there's no reason not to take a break to pair some beer or wine with a billion cheeses. Rogue and Vermont creameries brought some stellar offerings, but the Humboldt Fog and Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove once again prevailed with creamy stank and melting sweetness.