Categories
Northern California pork

The Porky Delights of PigEat Fest 2009

Pigtail!

Last Saturday, I attended the fundraiser known as PigEat Fest at San Fransisco’s Lake Merced. Benefiting the SF Food Bank, PigEat Fest is the brainchild of my friend Euge and is the fourth fundraiser he’s organized for the SF Food Bank over the years. Every dollar raised equals $9 worth of food, and PigEat Fest raised more than $2,500 ($24,500 in food). In total, Euge’s fundraisers have raised $11,500 for a whopping $103,500 of food. Good job, Euge!

*drool**DROOL*

Of course, the stars of the day were two Clark Summit Farm pigs that were alive two days before the event, so they were extremely fresh. They were cooked in La Caja Chinas by AJ, who had previous experience roasting pigs in the Chinese boxes, including a stint in the kitchen at Ad Hoc for their Swine & Wine dinner in March. You’re in good hands when AJ is in charge.

The pigs took around five hours to cook and were definitely worth the wait. I’ll just let the pictures roll by now. :)

Open-face PigWhen we arrived at around 12noon, the pigs were well on their way.
Scored Skin (before)When the pig reaches temperature, it’s flipped over and the skin is scored.
Scored Skin (after)Look how pretty the pig is when the skin crisps up.
A little piece of brain...Brains…
The Bootyand booty!
Puffy EarsThe puffy ears were prized delicacies.
Beautiful SkinGimme that skin!

The pigs were served with three delicious sauces, all courtesy of AJ: a mojo made from the roasted pig’s juices, a rich Filipino lechon sauce, and a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce. One pig was more than enough to feed the approximately 100 people in attendance, which meant that many of us took some of the second pig home with us. A lot of us, myself included, hovered around the table like vultures as the smaller more delectable pieces of meat (i.e. cheeks) and crispy pig skin were made available to us. (I should note that there was plenty of other food available since attendees were encouraged to bring food and drink to share with the group.)

To say that PigEat Fest was a success for both the eaters present and the SF Food Bank is a mild understatement. Can’t wait to do it again soon!

Categories
Anthony Bourdain Filipino musings TV

Bourdain Rocks the “Land of Lechon”

I called my mom about 5 minutes before No Reservations: Philippines was going to air in California, and instead of greeting me, she said, “Are you watching No Reservations?” It wasn’t airing in Hawaii, where I was on vacation, for two more hours, but I did call her to make sure she was watching.


You know Bourdain was in the real Philippines because it said BAWAL UMIHI DITO
(translation: don’t pee here) on every wall. :)

If the Pacquiao/De la Hoya fight was the Filipino equivalent of the Super Bowl, I think this block of television devoted to the cuisine of the Philippines might have been our NBA All-Star Game. Granted, 44 minutes isn’t nearly enough time to do justice to the diverse cuisine of the Philippines, but I thought the show did a good job highlighting some of the great things about the Mother Islands. Bourdain is also a self-described history nut, and he had a lot of great questions about the cultural and historical influences on the Philippines.

I’m not going to recap the whole episode, but it was nice to see Bourdain fall in love with sisig and lechon, and then later declare that the Philippines is No. 1 on his “Hierarchy of Pork” on his Travel Channel blog.

Categories
Anthony Bourdain Filipino TV

Philippines Tops Bourdain’s “Hierarchy of Pork”

As the No Reservations – Philippines episode gets set to air, Bourdain’s latest blog post boldly declares that the Philippines is No. 1 in his so-called “Hierarchy of Pork,” ahead of Bali and Puerto Rico.

In his post, Bourdain had high praise for both sisig and the lechon he had in Cebu.

What we did get right, I’m quite sure, was making sure that the amazing, porky delights of “sisig” got plenty of camera time. If you’ve never had this divine mosaic of pig parts, chopped and served sizzling and crisp on one side on a screaming hot platter, then you’ve yet to have one of the world’s best beer drinking dishes. And speaking of pig? It can now be said that of all the whole roasted pigs I’ve had all over the world, the slow-roasted lechon I had on Cebu was the best.

First Manny Pacquiao and now No. 1 on Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork? All we need now is for Charice to become bigger than Celine Dion, and we can start our official cultural takeover of the world.

Categories
Anthony Bourdain Filipino musings TV

Watch Bourdain Eat the Philippines on No Reservations

I know I’m probably the last Filipino food blogger to mention this, but the much-anticipated Philippines episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations is airing on the Travel Channel tonight at 10pm EST. For a preview, check out his travel itinerary.

Don’t pee here, Tony!

On his Travel Channel blog last October (on my birthday, no less!), Bourdain said this upon his arrival to the Philippines:

Of all the people who watch NO RESERVATIONS, it’s been Filipinos who have been consistently among our biggest fans and most vocal about our having yet to film in their country.

“You’ve been all over Asia,” I hear again and again, “…so WHY haven’t you come to the Philippines?!”

Well…I’m here. And the pressure is on…

All I can say is “Don’t worry. We’re NOT doing balut. Been there. Done that.” And privately think to myself, “Don’t screw this up … don’t screw this up … don’t screw this up.”

It’ll be nice to see a show that highlights Philippine cuisine without featuring balut because it’s such a cliche for “adventurous” eaters. Also, It looks like the silog segment got cut, but you can watch it here.

Even though I’m in Hawaii right now, it’s family dinner night so we’re staying in, and I’ll be in front of the TV watching. Will you?