February 4 – February 7

Although we’ve been offering our annual Whole Hog dinner for 14 years now, the term itself is somewhat disingenuous. To create a menu with dishes that feature every part of the pig while at the same time having enough portions of the popular dishes (costoletta, ribs), in truth require 2-3 whole animals along with additional boxes of ears, feet, heads, porterhouses, etc.

Whole Hog-plus-Boxes-of-Other-Parts Dinners just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, does it?

So in the spirit of authenticity and taking Dario Cecchini’s wise words to heart, this year’s Whole Hog dinner menu will actually be comprised of whole hogs! How many? Chef Jonah is in the process of figuring that out. This weekend he will be breaking down a whole animal from Devil’s Gulch to determine just how many whole hogs it will take to serve four nights of a completely pig-centric menu. (We’ll report back next week with what we discover.)  Not only does this raise the personal bar but it is precisely this type of constraint and utility that creates great food, so we anticipate a number of unsuspected innovations.

What does this mean for you?

This means we won’t be getting boxes of ears. So if you’re one of these people that wildly anticipates their own plate of pickled ears, because there will only be limited amount we’ll have to wait and  see how Chef Rhodehamel chooses to use them. Rest assured there will be ears, just maybe not a whole plate of them.

At the same time, there are only so many portions of crowd-pleaser center-cuts per pig. We suspect Chef Rhodehamel will order enough animals to not leave anyone wanting & then figure out some ingenious way to handle the surplus. We’re guessing there will be some serious preserving going on. Think terrines. Think salumi.

This also means there’s going to pork loin on the menu next week! Huzzah!