For Los Angeles Food & Wine, Republique and the Manzkes (Walter and Margarita) welcomed leading San Francisco chef Michael Tusk into their kitchen to prepare a collaborative four-course lunch. Each dish was very good, but since Dose of Vitamin P is a pork-focused column, I’ll praise the Cook Pigs pork that Walter Manzke prepared five ways.
This plate or pork integrated more techniques and ingredients than I could possibly recount, but I’ll try to hit the high points. The biggest cut of meat came from 28-day dry-aged loin that grilled over burning oak and joined cider-peppercorn sauce with four types of peppercorns, including Tellicherry. Sous chef Jon Butler tracked down some wild salsify from Belgium. They wrapped the crisp root vegetable, which often grows in coastal waters, and roasted the bite-sized results. Pork belly, which started by luxuriating in a sous vide bath and finished with high-heat, joined woodsy Canadian chanterelles. A crispy cake of trotter and head meat, coated and deep-fried, rested on a rich bed of lentils. Boulangère potato drew on old French boulangerie traditions, where locals would share an oven and cook different things throughout the day. On his potato cake, Manzke served a combination of liver, bacon, onion, garlic and more, with Cognac and a cream binder. To complete the porcine picture, Manzke and his team served a football-shaped gala apple that cooked in bacon fat. Cook Pigs pork has a lot to give, and Manzke made sure to make the most of the animal’s versatile nature for a special lunch.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.