Pork Summit 2012

Held in beautiful St. Helena, California, this year’s Summit has been one of the most inspiring yet.


On April 27 – 29, The National Pork Board hosted the Pork Summit 2012 at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, CA. State and regional Taste of Elegance winners won a trip to this exclusive educational weekend. Once in Napa, they rubbed elbows with acclaimed chefs, wine experts and the foodservice industry’s top media editors. The National Pork Board’s Director of Foodservice Marketing, Stephen Gerike, welcomed guests on the first evening at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, on the beautiful Greystone campus. After introductions, Tannin Management wine expert, Rebecca Chapa, and CIA Chef Instructor Bill Briwa, led a wine and pork-pairing seminar, featuring wines from local Napa Valley Vintners.


After the pairing class, guests were invited to the Culinary Institute’s herb terrace for a welcome reception. The menu for the evening was vast and set the tone for the amazing weekend ahead. Passed hors d’oeuvres included prosciutto wrapped asparagus served with lemon aioli, steamed pork shui mai with a cilantro mint sauce, cornmeal blini with quail eggs and bacon, and pork and raisin empanadas with guajillo chili salsa. Highlights from the CIA student-manned stations included a fig port jam, prosciutto and goat cheese grilled pizza, pork belly yakitori with kaffir-lime chili chicharrones, a pork meatball bahn mi with picked vegetables and sriracha mayo, and carnitas tacos served with three salsas. Everyone went home happy and full. With a focus on education, Saturday’s events kicked off with a Pork 101 class taught by Gerike. Attendees learned about the pork industry from farm to fork, including breeds, production, animal care, quality and meat science, and were then given a pork quality demonstration and tasting. In addition to Gerike’s presentation, Chef Briwa taught a segment on the art and science of brining and curing. After the advanced education, guests were treated to a Scandinavian smorrebrod lunch prepared by Chef Lars Kronmark in the CIA’s third floor teaching kitchen.


Pork cooking method chef demonstrations and tasting were the post-lunch activity. CIA Chef Instructor Kronmark enlightened the audience with a demonstration on fresh sausage making from grinding and seasoning, to encasing the meat. Chef Chad Colby, of Mozza in Los Angeles, demonstrated his technique for curing guanciale and then walked everyone through the preparation of a perfect bucatini dish, Bucatini alla Amatriciana, featuring the cured jowl. Next up was Chef Jason Alley of Richmond, Virginia’s Comfort and Pasture restaurants, who gave everyone a true taste of the South with his demonstration. Chef Alley discussed the difference between salt cured and sugar cured country hams and his house cured city ham. He then prepared a sugar cured ham steak with red-eye gravy. Chef Alley also shared his special recipe for pimento cheese and whipped up a Southern classic, bread and butter pickles. Chef Adam Sappington of the Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar in Portland, Oregon impressed everyone with his butchery skills, making scrapple stuffed pig’s face pancetta.


Lastly, Southeast Asian expert, Chef Robert Danhi, educated the group on the vast use of pork in Southeast Asian cuisine by demonstrating Chiang Mai Laab Moo. The traditional Thai dish included pork heart, kidney, liver, blood, skin and ground pork, all stir fried and served on a cabbage leaf with fresh herb table salad. After Chef Danhi’s demo, guests sampled all of the chef’s amazing dishes. Since everything was so delicious, folks came back for seconds and thirds. Following some free time in Napa Valley after the chef demonstrations, guests arrived at Hourglass Winery’s Blueline Vineyard. As they took in the truly stunning vineyard view, they also noticed a waft of roasting pork. They quickly made their way up to the fire pit, where amid the beautiful vineyard setting, Chef Justin Brunson, of Denver’s Masterpiece Deli and Denver Bacon Company, and his team prepared a very special dinner for the evening that included a pig cooking asadadore style over an open fire – a sight to be seen. Chef Brunson opened the night with Hog Island Oysters on the half shell, roasted pork collar with peas two ways, pork liver mousse crostini with berry wine jam, smoke pork rillettes and blood sausage with foie gras torchon and caramelized rhubarb. Rebecca Chapa was on hand to pair beers and white wines to highlight the evening’s appetizers.


When the sun set on Hourglass, the group of 75 people headed uphill to the vineyard caves for dinner. The Vintner, Jeff Smith, welcomed everyone with glasses of his remarkable wines. As guests enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Chef Brunson began sending out his family-style dinner. Brunson’s menu featured the perfectly crispy asadadore roasted pig prepared over the fire pit, and also served a pork lover’s dream; his “super royal” choucroute platter, with five types of sausage, smoked ham hocks and smoked belly on cabbage with apples and onions. The sides that accompanied these porcine dishes were wood roasted potatoes and plancha roasted local spring vegetables of mushrooms, ramps, peas, asparagus and green onions, with bagna cauda and sauce romesco. A beautiful and fresh local greens salad with verjus vinaigrette from the winer, joined the other dishes, and a dessert of strawberries on sweet biscuits with whipped cream and local cheeses completed the dinner. All of the guests in attendance had a magical evening, and no one left hungry. Sunday was everyone’s day to get into the kitchen. After breakfast at the CIA, Gerike gave a fabrication demo on both domestic and export market styles of butchery. Then, all of the guests headed to the third floor teaching kitchen for a market basket exhibition, to test all the techniques learned throughout the weekend. Chefs Alley, Brunson, Colby, Danhi and Sappington led teams of chefs and foodservice media editors. Each team was given a half hog to break down and include in their dishes. With three hours to cook, each team had to prepare three dishes: a breakfast sandwich, a vegetable entrée with pork as a main ingredient, and a fresh sausage dish. All teams rose to the challenge and served up some impressive dishes. After all the hard work in the kitchen, everyone sat down to one last meal at the CIA. The weekend was coming to a close, and as guests were free to explore more of Napa Valley on Sunday evening, most attendees departed on Monday- all knowing quite a bit more about pork then when they arrived.

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Ham, Cheese, and Pickles

Chef Jason Alley


Pimento Cheese

5 pounds Cheddar cheese, medium sharp, shredded
3 cups mayonnaise, preferably Dukes
4 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, small diced
1/2 bunch tarragon, minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 TBL Texas Pete hot sauce,
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,

Bread and Butter Pickles

10 pounds cucumbers, pickling or Kirby, sliced 1/8” thick
2 cups kosher salt,
3 quarts cider vinegar,
1 1/2 gallons sugar, granulated
2 small yellow onions, sliced 1/8” thick
1 teaspoon turmeric,
1 oz wt celery seed,
3 sticks cinnamon,
1/4 cup mustard seed,

Wet Cured Ham

1 fresh ham, boned, rolled and tied
5 g fennel seed,
5 g celery seed,
10 g coriander,
10 g caraway seed,
90 g sel rose,
560 g kosher salt,
679.5 g brown sugar,
1 liter apple juice,
5 liters water,
2 apples, cored


Pimento Cheese Procedure:
  1. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients
  2. With plastic spatula, mix to thoroughly combine.

Bread and Butter Pickles Procedure:

  1. In a mixed solution of the 2 cups kosher salt to 1 1/2 gallons of water, soak the sliced cucumbers overnight in the refrigerator
  2. After 24 hours, drain and thoroughly rinse the cucumbers, and set in a colander to drain
  3. In large rondeau, combine all of the remaining ingredients and bring to boil
  4. When the brine has come to a boil, add the cucumbers and return to a simmer
  5. Remove the pickles from the heat and allow to cool completely before refrigerating

Wet Cured Ham Procedure:

  1. In large sauce pot, combine all ingredients except ham and bring to boil and cook for 20 seconds
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour
  3. Strain and cool to room temperature
  4. In appropriate container, pour mixture over ham and weight down so ham stays submerged
  5. Flip ham daily in the cure for 21 days
  6. Remove from brine soak in cold water for 1 hour
  7. Over Applewood chips, smoke the ham at 300ºF until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 155ºF
  8. Allow the ham to cool on a rack and refrigerate

Serve with crackers or crudités.

Country Cats Scrapple

Chef Adam Sappington


5 pounds pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
1 each pork heart, cut into large chunks
2 each pork kidneys, cut into large chunks
1 each pork liver, cut into large chunks
2 onions, large dice
4 carrots, peeled, large dice
4 stalks celery, peeled, large dice
1 bunch fresh thyme, stemmed, chopped
1/2 gallon rendered duck fat,
1 pint farina cornmeal,
1 teaspoon juniper berry powder,
2 TBL kosher salt,
1 TBL black pepper, ground
1/8 cup brown sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except farina. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the duck fat. Set aside.
  4. In a large roasting pan, add ingredients then pour the duck fat over everything and press down to submerge. Cover with a piece of parchment paper or foil
  5. Bake for 2 1/2 hours or until everything is fork tender. Once everything is cooked, remove all ingredients from the duck fat (Reserve duck fat and freeze for another use)
  6. Put all ingredients into a medium sized stock pot.
  7. Place stock pot over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to break up the meat and vegetables to turn them into a chunky paste.
  8. Continue stirring and slowly add the farina to create a continuous stream.
  9. Stir the meat/vegetable mixture for about 15 minutes until it begins to pull away from the sides almost forming a ball.
  10. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  1. Grease and line loaf pan with plastic wrap so there is about 2-3 inches of wrap hanging over the side of the pan.
  2. Transfer meat mixture into the greased pan and spread evenly.
  3. Mixture should come to the top of the pan. Wrap top of the scrapple with overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Laab Moo Lanna

Chef Robert Danhi


Reserved fried pork offal,
1/4 cup fried sliced shallots,
Reserved fresh aromatics , (scallions, mint, cilantro, saw leaf herb)
Reserved fried chiles,
Spice Paste
2 teaspoons coriander seed, pan roasted deep brown
1 teaspoon cumin seed, pan roasted deep brown
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly pan roasted
2 pieces long pepper, lightly pan roasted
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly pan roasted
1 slice galangal, (or 1 teaspoon. ground), dried
10 dried red chilies, open fire roasted until “lightly burnt” to yield “black chilies”(save 3 for garnish)
1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste, “gkapi,” roasted
4-6 fresh galangal, thin slices
Fresh Aromatics
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced very thinly and fried until golden brown
1/2 cup scallions, (green onions), chopped
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sawleaf herb, roughly chopped
Pork Components
6 oz wt pork offal, such as liver, heart, stomach, spleen, intestines
4 oz wt pig skin, 1/8 thin x 1 inch long slivers
12 oz wt pork leg, or shoulder
2 oz wt pork fat,
3 TBL pork blood,
2 fl oz water,
Cooking Pork
2 TBL neutral oil,
Pork Mixture, from above
2 fl oz water,
2 TBL fish sauce,
As needed salt,
Table Salad
1/4 head green cabbage, cut into a few wedges
1 small cucumber, random bite size pieces
Sprigs and whole leaves of cilantro, mint, saw leaf herbs


Spice Paste Procedure:

  1. Pound or grind cooled roasted spices and dried galangal
  2. Add chilies and pound or grind finely
  3. Add shrimp paste and fresh galangal pound or grind until you have a spice paste

(Fresh Aromatics note: half mixed to be cooked with meat, and other half used for garnish raw)

Pork Components Procedure:

  1. Divide offal in two. Boil half for 3-5 minutes, drain water, rinse with cool water
  2. Drain well, cover and set aside to combine with chopped raw meat
  3. Deep-fry other half until semi-crispy and deep brown. Set aside for garnish
  4. Rough chop pork meat and fat, then mince with two knives until it pieces are no larger than ¼”
  5. Add pork blood and mixed well to combine
  6. In a large bowl, combine water with spice paste until smooth
  7. Stir in chopped pork and offal and mix until incorporated
  8. Mix in half of fried lemongrass, fried garlic and chopped herbs (mint, cilantro and saw leaf).

Cooking Pork Procedure:

  1. In wok over high heat, add oil, spice enriched pork mixture and cook until fully cooked
  2. Add water and mix until well combined, then stir in fish sauce
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce and salt.

Final Presentation:

  • Cooked pork mixture
  • Garnishes
  • Table Salad

Arrange cooked pork in bowl, distribute with reserved offal, then fried shallots, sprinkle with fresh aromatics and finally garnish with whole fried chilies. Serve with plate of green cabbage, cucumbers and herbs for nibbling as you eat the salad

Bucatini Alla Amatriciana

Chef Chad Colby


1 Cured Jowl, or Guanciale sliced on the bias and cut into large pieces
1 red onion, peeled cut in half and into large pieces
1 TBL extra virgin olive oil, good quality
1 pound bucatini, from Rustichella di Abruzzo
To taste salt and pepper,
2 ripe tomatoes, oven roasted
1 teaspoon tomato paste,
8 oz wt Passato Sauce,
2 TBL parsley, picked and washed
As needed chunk of Pecorino cheese,

Guanciale Cure

3 pounds salt,
1 pound brown sugar,
1 1/2 cups chili flake,
1 cups peppercorns,
1 cups black pepper, ground
2 oz wt TCM or P1,


8 fl oz extra virgin olive oil,
2 each #10 cans San Marzano tomatoes,
1 TBL sugar, granulated
1 teaspoon chili flakes,
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon kosher salt, OR sea salt


  1. In large stock pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. The water should be as salty as “soup that you would send back for being too salty”
  2. In a cool 12” to 14” sauté pan, in a single layer place Guanciale slices and red onion and cook over medium low heat until you hear it start to sizzle
  3. Then add 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and cook until most of the fat has been rendered from the Guanciale, turning occasionally as needed
  4. Put the pasta in the water and stir for one minute until it is ready to cook on its own
  5. Remove the Guanciale to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat
  6. Return the Guanciale to the pan with the onions and chili flakes and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions and Guanciale are light golden brown
  7. Season with salt and pepper, add Passato Sauce, oven roasted tomatoes and tomato paste, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Cook the bucatini until al dente, approximately 6 minutes. The pasta should be firm enough to have some “chew” but not so firm that it sticks in your molars. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water, and add pasta to the simmering sauce
  9. Add parsley leaves, increase the heat to high and toss vigorously to coat the pasta completely with the sauce. Add pasta water if the mixture is too dry.
  10. Divide the pasta among four warmed pasta bowls and top with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve immediately

Guanciale Cure Procedure:

  1. In mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well to combine
  2. Rub fresh, trimmed jowls liberally with the curing mixture
  3. Set in a clean container in refrigeration, turning regularly, for 14 days
  4. Move jowls to a refrigerator rack to dry cure for an additional 21 days before cooking

Passato Procedure:

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them and their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal
  4. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and chili flakes
  5. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Image Gallery

Images from the 2012 Pork Summit