It’s T minus two days until Pig Island 2013! Yesterday, participating chefs stopped by the Union Square Greenmarket to collect their pigs from Flying Pigs Farm. Founder of the event, Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43 coordinated the pick up and made sure that everyone had a chance to meet each other as well as to talk to a few of us writer-types to give us a bit of scoop on what’s in store for this weekend.
The energy in the air was bright with everyone eager for Saturday to come and to get the pigs in their possession so that they could start cooking. The wholesale aspect of the Greenmarket also delivered pigs to several of the chefs who couldn’t get to the market to pick them up personally. Here’s a few of the folks who dropped by:
Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine, known for his Carolina-style barbecues and pig roasts, is teaming up with Zarela Martinez, restauranteur, teacher, and cookbook author, to create a Mexican-themed whole pig dish. They are a few of several chefs who are taking their pigs on a more south of the border spin.
Danny Mena of Hecho en Dumbo revealed that he’ll be serving up a Yucatan dish featuring Rellenos e Negro on freshly-made tortillas. The folks from Jimmy’s No. 43 will also be cooking up something with Latin flavors.
Jesse Jones shared that he’s going to be fixing some pork shanks in puff pastry and then serving them with a sauce and sides that pay homage to his late grandmother, giving his dish a Southern U.S. angle. Matt Fisher and Bill Fletcher of Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue are taking a more Asian route with their offering.
Another Pig Island veteran chef team tapping into Asian flavors for this year’s event, are the folks at Parish Hall. I got to eavesdrop a bit while they were talking to Mike Yezzi about getting their hands on some extra pig skin with which to make their crispy pork noodles. I’m definitely getting on line on Saturday to give that dish a try.
I didn’t get a chance to find out from Chef Will Horowitze of Ducks Eatery what he’d be fixing for the day. Given our conversation at the press preview for the event, I’m guessing he might be doing something involving some type of charcuterie. From what his co-chef who came to the pig pick-up said, I guess a few ideas have been bandied about for what they are planning to make.
Two chefs who are going to going to take their pig and prepare it a bit old-school are St. John Frizell of Fort Defiance and Ben Schneider of The Good Fork. As Ben explained, they are going to dig a pit and cook it. It’s a bit of an experiment, they revealed, but they are confident that their prior joint barbecuing experiences will produce successful results.
One team keeping their dish under wraps until the big day is the group from The Darby/Butter. These folks had one of my favorite nibbles at last year’s gathering, so I can’t wait to try what they come up with this time around. They also served dessert, which is something their promised to do again this year. The words lard, butter, and flour were tossed around, so you know they are going to be making something great!
For the non-carnivores, Tim Cavaretta of Bittergreen, with whom I’ve worked on a few catering events, will be at the helm of the vegetarian offerings for the event. He stopped by yesterday to pick up a pile of gorgeous seasonal produce from the stands and the market. Here’s a peek at his shopping bag to see what might be on the plate.
Some tickets are still available for this event, but they are going fast. Tickets are all-inclusive of food and drink, of which there will be plenty, along with live music.