Farm to Fork…

…thoughts from my visit to Des Moines, Iowa

At the end of August, I was invited to join Niman Ranch and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs on an educational trip about the raising of commercially available pork.  Over the course of the weekend I learned how much Niman Ranch believes in their strict protocols.  Everything from the feed to how far a farm can be from an abattoir is strictly adhered to, all in the name of creating the best possible pork product.  There’s an additional layer of care that cannot be quantified or written about in a protocol.  These ranchers and farmers care about raising their hogs and it shows.  You can truly see (and taste) the hard work and dedication that has been put into the product.

I once wrote that I wanted to take this time in my career to learn more about individual products I use in my operation, this was an amazing way to experience first hand one of my great loves – pork.  Thanks Niman Ranch and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs for this opportunity!.   img_20160826_152814

The farmers build these individual houses for the gestating sows.  The sows are able to build a nest and raise their young.  The farmers basically let “pigs be pigs.”

img_20160826_184625

My first hog roast! Pork in its purest form, slow roasted for 16 hours.