Gwen Fowler



Eating every part of the pig in a most delicious way

Posted 3/2/2013 8:19:00 AM

One of the beautiful things about a pig is that you can eat every part of it.

Pig farmer Emile DeFelice and some of the country’s best chefs proved just that Friday at This Little Piggy: A Pop-Up Market.

The luncheon, part of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, was on the grounds of the beautiful Lowndes Grove Plantation

DeFelice provided three heirloom hogs for the luncheon, each weighing about 300 pounds and raised at his Caw Caw Creek farm near St. Matthews. He talked about how his pigs and other heritage-bred animals are different from those grown on industrial farms.

“They’re true to their DNA,” he said. They also take much longer to grow to full size, he said. His pigs are raised on pasture and forest land.

Chef April Bloomfield, with help from DeFelice, demonstrated how to break down a pig. With a sharp knife and a saw, she had the 65-pound pig in five sections in a matter of minutes.

Bloomfield is the author of a book, “A Girl and Her Pig,” and is co-owner of three New York City restaurants, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room and The John Dory Oyster Bar.

The chefs were assigned different parts of the pig to prepare, and every one of the dishes was excellent.

Chef Michelle Bernstein of Miami used the jowl of the pig to make delicious ravioli, which she served with a roasted vegetable salad.

Cookbook author and sausage maker Bruce Aidells made a lentil stew with pork, kale and garlic sausage that would be the perfect comfort food on a cold night.

Chef Edward Lee of Louisville served ham sliders that he topped with a green tomato relish along with a tasty chilled yellow squash soup.

Baker Hedy Goldsmith of Coral Gables, Fla., came up with an incredible dessert, using the belly of the pig, that she called belly, banana, toffee and coffee Panini.

When guests arrived for the luncheon and walked up the driveway toward the large tent, servers were passing by with trays of sandwiches made with homemade fried, smoked bologna. If all bologna were this tasty, the lowly bologna sandwich would be considered a gourmet treat.

About 15 tables were set up inside for diners, and each had a diagram of a pig, with the jowl, ribs, loin and other parts labeled. Lowndes Grove Plantation, on the Ashley River, includes a 1786 plantation home.

The festival continues through Sunday. Click here and here for more about the chefs and dishes at other events.