Goat Belly and Specialty Pigs From Stephanie Izard and Stephen Stryjewski
|Stephen Stryjewski at work in the Pistache kitchen Monday.|
The midday feast was held at Pistache French Bistro in downtown West Palm Beach where the restaurant's executive chef Julien Gremaud cooked alongside Bravo Top Chef Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard and 2011 James Beard "Best Chef: South" award recipient Stephen Stryjewski.
On the multi-course tasting menu: each chef's self-proclaimed specialty of pig, goat and lamb. Southern Hospitality kicked off with a vegetarian dish to prep the palate, Gremaud's Napoleon of baby heirloom tomatoes and zucchini, lgoat cheese mousse, pine nuts and eggplant gremolata (a chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley).
For meat, Gremaud chose lamb shank prepared with oven-dried tomatoes, garlic confit, sunchoke puree and a fig gastrique.
The goat and pig were left to Izard and Stryjewski, who are best known for preparing the respective meats at their critically acclaimed restaurants.
Keep reading for a few pointers on how to make goat belly, and the best hybrid breed of pig.
Stryjewski -- owner and executive chef of Cochon, French for "pig" -- is known for offering up stuffed pig feet and glazed pork cheek at his New Orleans restaurant, but chose to prepare a dish of seared pork shoulder simply braised and served with shaved onions, micro greens and field peas.
His favorite cut of the moment, pork shoulder is one of many cuts you'll find at Stryjewski's retail Louisiana restaurant, Cochon Butcher, where patrons can eat or buy only the best specialty pork from locally-raised pigs.
"Most of my pigs come from [the same farmer] I've been working with for a long time," Stryjewski told Clean Plate Charlie. "Right now, we're working on developing the perfect pig, a hybrid of several species, what I call a Berkshire Blue Butt."
What makes the Berkshire pigs so special? Their flavor, said Styjewski, which comes from a specific ratio of fat, muscle and protein strands to deliver superior taste and unparalleled texture. Pasture-raised, these pigs also live longer -- and grow larger -- than conventionally-raised pigs, and are fed an all-natural diet that gives them a "perfect intra-muscular fat distribution."