Sunday, March 02, 2008

Going Whole Hog

OK, here you go folks....a true example of our farm to table connection. The video shows a Berkshire hog raised by rockstar farmer Beau Ramsburg. This particular hog is the second of three hogs that we raised as an experiment with different feeds to see if we can raise an 'old-style' Virginia hog. All the usual humane and natural standards applied, Beau simply had three different types of feed for these guys. I CAN'T EVEN DESCRIBE TO YOU HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THESE ANIMALS. Anyhow, I'll let the video speak for itself. I will mention that in terms of freshness, this particular animal was alive on thursday, inspected friday and broken down by us on saturday. Now that's shortening the food chain. Here's an important point I touched on in the video: 'Local' and 'sustainable' have become the current vogue terms for chefs talking to magazines these days. I'm providing this video to prove that we are dedicated to this type of cooking. I guess the most appropriate way to describe it is 'nose to tail'. It's not a trend for us. It's just the way. I think it is very important to cook by the seasons(and be aware of Mother Nature's nuances), support our local farm economy and also use the whole animal. It's admirable to cut pork chops from a local farmer out of a bag and throw them in a pan, but what is happening to the rest of the animal? Can we as chefs take less desirable cuts of meat and make something amazing with them? Always remembering that Mother Nature is the true artist, we're just technicians.(Thanks, Marco) How good can we be as technicians to show off everything that nature provides. So, yes this means changing the menu and putting some heavy thought into how to use all these parts. That's the fun of it!!! I've included a photo of the processing just so everyone can see how it's all done!!!


Rich said...

Great illustration. How big was that hog, in lbs., at slaughter and how many "covers" will it accomodate in its various dish renditions?

Karen said...