Monday, February 1, 2010
What can I say? I love the pig. Bacon, prosciutto, ham, ribs, chops, tenderloin, sausage,.... the list goes on for miles.
I just took part in this year's "Taste of Elegance," a pork-centric celebration held in Denver each year. About 12 chefs from in and around Denver are invited to make a dish using 40# of pork that are sent to them before the event. Five "judge-ready" full sized portions are made and then much smaller samples are handed out to about 300 attendees in a massive ballroom. Not all cuts are available, but there are enough options to get pretty creative.
This year, everyone brought it. Some of my favorite chefs around - Duy Pham, Michael Long, Elise Wiggins, Brian Hubner and a host of other local talent were present. I was very impressed with the offerings and was definitely inspired with what I saw happening. I did this event two years ago and things have certainly changed. There were multiple circulators in operation, some liquid nitrogen being used, spherification, and a bunch of bad-ass pork dishes being assembled. Denver cuisine is certainly keeping pace with the rest of the country.