There was an old fashioned pig picking at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, but that was behind the scenes, where Los Angeles based chef Ray Garcia dismantled a hog to create two dishes for the 2013 festival. At Thursday’s opening night party, he served satisfying pork belly on a bed of kale and cotija grits, and Garcia returned on Saturday to serve Nose to Tail Tamales at the first grand tasting under the Equestrian Center big top. From outside, the venue probably looked like a food circus to passersby, but Chef Garcia made sure his dish never wavered on the culinary tightrope. Garcia said he used “everything but the intestines and blood” in crafting his tamale, pairing juicy braised pork with moist masa. A tangy, slightly spicy salsa verde contained tomatillo, jalapeno, epazote, onions and more, and the topper consisted of a crispy pig ear chicharron, cilantro and spring onion. Garcia previously produced another Dose of Vitamin P, and this time, he pretty much called his shot, asking if his latest pork dish would become this week’s Dose. Yes, Ray, yes it is.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.