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Pigstock Takes Over Hogtown

Last week — 40 chefs, 4 farms and 60 hungry eaters came together at The Evergreen Brick Works to celebrate the humble, hairy, mangalitsa pig.

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The morning started with a pork infused breakfast. Whipped mangalitsa lard was served alongside salo biscuits and paired with a conversation between Fred & Ingrid of Perth Pork and Sylvie & Mike of Sonrisa Farms about the trials and rewards of breeding heritage pigs. Chefs and industry professionals were given the chance to ask questions about what it takes to raise these unique and threatened animals in Ontario.

Now, if you ever want to see a chef stop talking — put them in a room with a master butcher. Breakfast was followed by a full day of seam butchery demos by master butcher (and farmer) Christoph Wiesner, couple with blood pudding and knuckle soup tasting by his partner Isabel Wiesner. The two are internationally celebrated breeders of the Mangalitsa and teach whole animal butchery around the world, and in their home country, Austria.

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Feast ON Chef Brad Long prepares a mangalitsa long loin for La Grande Choucroute with fresh sage and oodles of garlic. Photo credits: @OCTA_licious

Naturally, lunch was a local affair. Chefs, industry and farmers alike tucked into beautiful porchetta sandwiches by Chef Fabio Bondi of Local Kitchen and piles of roasted seasonal vegetables (in a mangalitsa bacon dressing!) by Chef Peter Sanagan of Sanagan’s Meat Locker, both in Toronto. It really was a community effort anchored by 100km Foods, Sonrisa Farms and some talented Feast ON Chefs.

Events like this are part of an on going effort by Feast ON and our Feast ON Preferred Purveyors to make sourcing and serving Ontario food & drink easier, more affordable and more meaningful for restaurants across the province. We want more local food on more local plates. Simple as that. 

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In an effort to build a further connection between the foodservice and farming industry and you, the eater, come sundown, we also hosted a family style feast. Chefs Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall, Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann of Bread Bar, Albert Ponzo of Le Select Bistro, Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station and Brad Long of Cafe Belong collaborated on massive choucroute garnie — all made with different parts of the manglitsa pig. There were long loins and sausages, belly and bones, whipped lardo with smoked honey and even pecan pies with pork fat crusts and crackling. Guests were treated to bottomless pints of MacKinnon Brothers Brewing ale, Hidden Bench reisling and Norman Hardie pinot noir. 

Pigstock is shaping up to be an annual affair bringing industry and consumers together to celebrate one of Ontario’s most important animals: the pig. Stay tuned for details on next years event and follow @OCTA_licious for details!