Certain events bring out the best in chefs. Tacolandia, the undisputed champion when it comes to showcasing tacos, featured more than 75 food vendors from Southern California and Mexico near the birthplace of Los Angeles, Olvera Street. The event, produced by LA Weekly, with a line-up curated by Street Gourmet LA founder Bill Esparza, features chefs who normally come strong. On June 6, certain chefs brought a little something extra to the plaza.
Corazon y Miel co-owners Eduardo Ruiz and Robin Chopra were front and center at their booth, and they even recruited Cliff’s Edge executive chef Vartan Abgaryan to help man the griddle. The men of Corazon scored a KuneKune pig, a heritage breed that the native Maori first raised on New Zealand. These small, hairy, primarily grass-fed pigs take longer to mature than commodity hogs and as a result carry better marbling (and flavor). Corazon entrusted Billy Acosta from Carnitas El Momo with their pig, which yielded impressive results
Griddled corn tortillas, which Corazon y Miel dishwasher Sergio and his wife make, hosted rough chopped, fat-lined pork. Ruiz layered onions sweated with rendered foie gras fat that are subsequently seasoned with garlic, ginger and salt. Up top, Ruiz squiggled tangy, spicy salsa crafted with yuzu kosho, shallots, garlic and ginger, which he emulsified with olive oil.
The carnitas making process also yielded savory spare pork parts that didn’t make it into tacos, including trotters and ribs. Abgaryan was nice enough to griddle them up and serve them to lucky people who saw and asked, including my wife.
This may have been a one-of-a-kind opportunity, but hopefully this kind of carnitas collaboration continues in the future at Corazon y Miel.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.