On October 11th, at the beautiful La Valencia Hotel, Chef Daniel Barron hosted what may be the finest beer/wine pairing meal I have ever had the privilege of attending, The Heavenly Hog Fall Pig Out. The hogs were provided by Cooks Pigs, a local, artisan pig ranch.
The eight chefs and the part of the pig they randomly drew to use:
Chef Kyle Bergman, The Med prepared belly.
Chef Jeff Bonilla, Sea & Smoke prepared loin.
Chef Olivier Bioteau, Farm House Cafe prepared ribs.
Chef Rich Sweeney, R Gang Eatery/Southpaw Social Club prepared trotters/shanks.
Chef Matt Richman, Table 926 prepared head (no, that’s not a typo!).
Chef Hanis Cavin, Carnitas’ Snack Shack prepared skin/fat as desert.
Chef Karl Prohaska, Handlery Hotel prepared shoulders/butts.
And our host, Chef Daniel Barron holds the wild card.
Tami Wong, wine director of the hotel, was on hand to explain and serve the pairings and from the others at my table I gleamed she did an amazing job. Legendary Nate Soroko handled the beer pairings from Port/Lost Abbey and needless to say, each and every one went great with the dishes served.
Here is the official menu:
1st Course Trotters And Shanks
Trotter And Shank Tater Tots
2nd Course Shoulder
Seared Diver Scallop With Smoke Roasted Shredded Pork, Tasso Risotto, And Pea Puree.
3rd Course Whats Left (Wild Card)
Whole Animal Plate
4th Course Head
Porchetta Di Testa With The Pigs Head. With A Salad Of Roquette, Local Radishes, Citrus, Pickled Fennel, Pistachios.
5th Course Ribs
Orange-Fennel Pork Rib Confit
Purple Mustard,Smoked Potato Puree
Roasted Brussel Sprout, Cipollini Onions, Chanterelle Stone Mustard Jus
6th Course Belly
48hour Pork Belly/Crispy Black Pudding/Brûlée Quail Egg/Smoked Tomato Gel.
7th Course Loin
Loin/ Sweet Potato/ Acid
Dessert Fat And Skin
Mezcal Cake / Lardo Gelato / Candied Smoked Skin / Chicharron Brittle Paired With Mezcal
Lacking the vocabulary to eloquently describe this amazing experience properly, I can assure you each and every dish was incredible. Some of the standout out dishes for me included Chef Karl’s shoulder dish, Chef Oliver’s ribs, Chef Jeff’s belly breakfast and an unbelievable “twinkie” filled with pork fat flavored cream. The quality of each plate cannot be overstated, I was blown away by the creativity of the chefs and the wonderful flavors they served us.
La Valencia did an impressive job managing every angle of this event. The valets were on their game, parking was quick and easy. Friendly hosts greeted and sat the attendees, service of the food and drinks could not have been more professional and overall the stunning atmosphere made a great back drop to a fascinating meal.
With the photographs I inset a picture of the dish each chef prepared within a picture of them describing the dish to us so you can put a face with the food. This experience was one for the ages, thank you to the La Valencia for having me, and high fives to each chef for delivering greatness!