When Ray Garcia and pork get together, good things happen. The longtime executive chef of FIG Santa Monica recently took home a crown and gold pig that honor his national victory over regional winners at the Cochon 555 finals at Aspen Food & Wine. To celebrate, the King of Porc recently kicked off a series of monthly four-course pork-focused Swine & Dine dinners with Berkshire hog from Cook Pigs Ranch, a high-altitude farm in Julian, California.
The powerhouse menu left no pork part behind, with the loin and (pickled) skin joining a Coctel del Puerco, head meat forming Cabeza Adobada, and crispy skin factoring into Chile Lime Chicharrones, and that was just for the first course! The menu also included sliced loin, green chorizo huaraches with huitlacoche, banana braised shoulder, and a pork pound cake, yet the dish I couldn’t shake was supercharged chilaquiles.
Yes, FIG serves chilaquiles on their breakfast menu with egg, tortilla, spicy salsa roja, but they typically feature pulled chicken and queso fresco. By working with Cook Pigs, Garcia upped the ante with sticky chunks of head meat, jowl, and belly. In Aspen, he added blood to the crispy mix, which is sure to combat even the fiercest hangover. Could it be that Santa Monicans can’t handle the sight of blood? Even without that fortifying richness, Chef Garcia still made sure Santa Monica became a meat Mecca, at least for one night.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.
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