You would have to have been hiding under a pork belly not to notice the headlines that kale and quinoa have been getting in the restaurant and foodie press these days. They seem to be all that we’re talking about. And even though both of these simple ingredients have been around for centuries, they are new to many diners, kitchens and restaurant menus. There aren’t many of us who remember and crave that soul satisfying, unctuous, and familiar quinoa dish that mom or grand mom used to make. We do, however, often have those feelings stirred when we think about noodle dishes from growing up. No matter where you grew up, chances are good that noodles figure prominently in your food memories. They’re a classic across cultures, from a hot, umami-filled bowl of ramen or silky, spicy Sichuan dan-dan to buttery crunchy spaetzle or a plate of smooth tagliatelle with traditional ragù Bolognese. When craving comfort, nothing will satisfy better than noodles. And noodles are the perfect canvas for chef’s creativity, especially with the only other ingredient equally as authentic and ubiquitous – pork.
Noodles are reappearing on menus. Not overflowing platters of fettuccine or linguine covered in cream sauce, but thoughtful and authentic dishes that expertly incorporate noodles with broths, vegetables, herbs, and well-prepared, moderately portioned proteins. Meats, seafood and eggs share the headline and complement one another. But one thing is certain: pork is the perfect protein pairing for noodles in any culture and with any flavor. It offers authenticity, great flavor and versatility – not to mention profitability.
This delicious pairing is a top trend for 2014. Take a look at what’s happening with pork and noodles on menus around the country:
- Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that complements pork perfectly. With 26 percent incidence, it’s the leading preparation method on menus.* Traditionally made with eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper, restaurants are transforming it using new pork cuts and different noodles and egg styles.
- At Grassa in Portland, OR, Rick Gencarelli meticulously crafts bowls of fresh handmade pastas. His take pairs pork belly and bucatini with a fried egg and pecorino cheese.
- At Old Major in Denver, CO, Chef Justin Brunson serves his carbonara with smoked pork shank, orcchiette, broccolini, a soft poached egg and Grana Padano. The dish sits in a rich pork jus broth.
- Sunday Gravy, Ragùs or Sugos are most commonly found in independent restaurants. Food Genius reported that 44 percent of all ragùs contain either pork or sausage.* Beyond the traditional pork bolognese served over tagliatelle, operators are inspired by dish’s classic flavors and customer demand.
- Grassa menus a Mezze Rigatoni with Sunday Pork Ragù.
- At Maialino in New York, NY, Executive Chef Nick Anderer serves Malfatti – a bed of eggy, hand-torn malfatti pasta covered in a cream-based suckling-pig ragù.
- Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, CA serves gnocchi tossed with pork shank ragù and mustard greens.
- At Incanto in San Francisco, CA, Chef Chris Cosentino menus a Handkerchief Pasta and Rustic Pork Ragù.
- Other classic Italian pasta dishes popping up on menus – either in their traditional form or with a twist – are Bucatini alla Amatriciana and Orecchiette with Rapini and Italian Sausage:
- Incanto’s take on Orecchiette with Rapini and Italian Sausage replaces the pasta with cavatelli and the rapini with turnip greens. The dish is served with house-made pork sausage, chili and pecorino.
- Osteria Mozza menus the classic Bucatini All’ Amatriciana with long, hollow Italian pasta, guanciale and tomatoes.
- Ramen, the classic pork and noodle pairing of Japan, is trending across menus in the United States for an impact far beyond its Asian roots.
- Grassa menus an “Italian Ramen” featuring parmesan brodo (Italian for broth), pork belly, shiitakes and a soft egg with capellini noodles.
- At Slurping Turtle in Chicago, IL, Chef Takashi Yagihashi serves up the flavors of his childhood to raving American palates:
- Tonkotsu Ramen with thin house-made ramen noodles, silky pork broth, braised pork shoulder, bok choy, pickled mustard greens and braised woodear mushrooms.
- Tan Tan Men Ramen with homemade thick ramen noodles, spicy ramen stock, pork meatball, pork shoulder, pork miso, bok choy and bean sprouts.
- Ramen Yebisu, a Sapporo-style Brooklyn, NY ramen shop, offers Abura Soba – blanched ramen noodles with house special sauce, roasted pork, scallion, bamboo shoots, toasted seaweed, lobster oil and poached egg. Eater New York called the dish “Japanese Carbonara.”
- At Oiistar in Chicago, IL, pork ramen is served two ways:
- Oiimen – pork belly, egg, scallion, tree-ear mushroom, spicy oil and garlic – is a traditional take.
- Pozolmen – pork loin, jalapeno pepper, red onion and tomato – is a modern twist.
- The specialty at Ramen Yamadaya, a SoCal-based ramen chain, is the authentic Tonkotsu broth ramen highlighted by a rich pork stock and slices of roasted pork.
- Dan-dan is a noodle dish originating from China’s Chengdu province and their Sichuan cuisine.
- Peter Chang’s in Richmond, VA serves the classic Sichuan-style Dan-dan – spicy sauce with preserved vegetables, chili oil, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions served over noodles.
- Euclid Hall in Denver, CO serves an updated version of Dan-dan Noodles with suckling Yorkshire pig three ways, udon noodles, house-made oyster sauce, Szechuan pepper, scallions, peanuts and aromatic pork bouillon.
- At Monkey King Noodle Co., the Dallas, TX restaurant serves Chinese street food including dan-dan Noodles – house-made ground pork spiked with an abundance of garlic, ginger and scallions.
- Chef San Yoon, of Lukson in Los Angeles, has spent more time in his test kitchen on dan-dan noodles then any other dish on his menu. The result is a pairing with kurobuta pork, sesame, preserved mustard greens, Sichuan peppercorns, peanuts and a special sauce built with Kurobuta pork, black bean paste, white sesame paste, chicken stock and house-made prickly ash oil.
- Pho, a popular street food in Vietnam, is a noodle soup consisting of broth, bánh ph? rice noodles, herbs, vegetables, and meat. Pho is only on one percent of all chain menus, but it’s making its way into the headlines and onto many independent restaurant menus.*
- 57% of Vietnamese menus have at least one pork soup item.*
- In Los Angeles, It’s Pho Viet & Thai menus a Pork Pho with fresh cilantro, onions and herbs served with basil, lime, chili peppers and a side of bean sprouts. The restaurant also menus Pho 8 Bo Thi Lon with tender pork slices, fresh onion, fresh vegetables and bean sprouts.
- Another classic Vietnamese pork-and-rice noodles dish is Pork Gòi Cuon – cold rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork, fresh herbs and vegetables wrapped in rice paper.
- Miss Chi Vietnamese recently opened in Dallas, TX to fill a hole in the Vietnamese food market. The restaurant menus two varieties – one filled with pork and shrimp, the other with grilled pork.
- Môt Hai Ba, also in Dallas, TX features North Vietnamese cuisine. Their menu showcases Chargrilled Pork Belly and Pork Meatball with vermicelli noodles and herbs in an imperial roll and Steamed Rice Noodles with ground pork, mushroom, crispy shallot, and eggs.
- Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, stir fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, served with lime wedges and chopped roasted peanuts.
- Dale Talde features Crispy Oyster and Bacon Pad Thai on his menu at Talde in Brooklyn, NY.
- Pok Pok Phat Thai in New York, NY serves Phat Thai with thin rice noodles cooked in rendered pork fat with tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts, dried tofu, dried shrimp, preserved radish, bean sprouts and chili powder. It’s menued with ground pork or a combination of ground pork and fresh prawns.
- Chow Fun noodles are wide rice noodles typically stir fried with vegetables and meat.
- The comfort food gets a new treatment at Talde. Chef Talde substitutes braised pork shank for the usual strips of filleted beef, but his creativity is shown in the chow fun noodles – or noodle, to be exact. He rolls one thick, long strand of chow fun noodle into a curled mass and browns it on one side. Once plated, the curled chow fun noodle is surrounded by a ring of braised pork and pickled greens.
- Anyone of German descent is familiar with the comforting egg noodle favorite, Spaetzle. These soft noodles or dumplings are a typical dish found in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol. Braised pork, pork schnitzels, and pork sausages are also authentic dishes to these areas, so pork and spaetzle is a logical, flavorful pairing.
- Affäre, a modern German restaurant in Kansas City, MO serves up Jägerschnitzel, crispy breaded pork served with mushroom cream sauce and Butterspätzle.
- Suppenküche, a German restaurant in San Francisco, CA emphasizes classic Bavarian cuisine. On the menu is a traditional German pairing – Jägerschnitzel in Champignon soße, or sautéed pork loin in mushroom sauce served with spaetzle and green salad.
- Laschets Inn serves German-American food in Chicago, IL. Their menu features a Roast Pork Loin dinner – thick slices of roast pork draped in brown gravy and served with spaetzle and red cabbage. They also serve Goulash Spaetzle – cubes of pork in a paprika sauce over spaetzle and served with red cabbage.
- Tabor, the food truck in Portland, OR lovingly referred to as the “schnitzelwich truck,” serves Eastern European classic dishes like goulash, spaetzle, and schnitzels. Chef Vitek is also known for his creativity. His Presidential Schnitzelwich adds a slab of melted Munster cheese to the enormous Original Schnitzelwich (breaded pork loin in a Ciabatta roll with lettuce, paprika spread, sautéed onion and horseradish). For a recent special, he paired the sandwich with Halušky, an herbed spaetzle caramelized with onions and topped with feta cheese.
- Euclid Hall offers a sausage platter with leberkäse, boudin noir, and a butcher’s choice sausage. The platter is recommended with the broccoli and cheese spaetzle dish – a delicious take on mac n’ cheese with broccoli.
- Asian Egg Noodles
- Hue Ky Mi Gia was voted one of the best noodle shops in Seattle, WA by Seattle Magazine. It serves a Chinese egg noodle soup with barbecued pork.
- Bean Thread/Glass noodles
- Seven Stars’ Pepper in Chinatown-International District, Seattle, WA serves “Ants on a Tree.” The fine bean thread in this classic Szechuan dish represent the “tree,” while the bits of minced pork that stick to the noodles are the “ants.” It’s a nearly sauceless dish; the noodles absorb the chili soy-sesame sauce. But the combination of the gelatinous noodle texture and the savory flavor make it a can’t-miss.
- Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
- Cocoron in New York, NY serves Buta Shabu Cold Soba – cold handmade soba noodles with thinly sliced shabu pork and tsuyu, served with wasabi, grated daikon and scallions.
You would have to have been hiding under that same pork belly if you haven’t heard of One Off Hospitality, made up of Chicago restaurateurs Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, Rick Diarmit and Eduard Seitan, opened Blackbird together in Chicago 16 years ago. Since then, they’ve opened avec, the Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Big Star, the Violet Hour, and most recently, Nico Osteria. Located in the Thompson Hotel on North Rush Street, Nico is described as “an authentically Italian seafood-driven concept.” Their grilled porchetta with Hama Hama clams, Farro and preserved tomatoes is the perfect pairing for many of their satisfying, thoughtful noodle dishes.
Pork is a great foil for noodles and grains of all cuisines and cultures. From traditional dishes that fulfill comfort food cravings to modern variations that keep menus on the cutting edge of flavor and profitability, pork and noodles is a delicious trend that’s sure to satisfy chefs and patrons alike.
A Conversation With
From Incanto’s adventurous nose-to-tail menu to the Top Chef Masters kitchen, Chef Chris Cosentino is bringing offal back. As executive chef of the San Francisco Italian hotspot, as well as the artisanal salumeria Boccalone, Cosentino offers with unconventional cuts and challenges perceptions of what constitutes center of plate.
Cosentino’s love of meat is probably genetic – his maternal ancestors founded Rhode Island’s Easton’s Sausage Company. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, he worked in some of the country’s top kitchens before taking up the executive chef mantle at Incanto in 2002. He won season 4 of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters in 2012 and is currently writing a cookbook on offal cookery.
We sat down with Chris to talk about his passion for often-diregarded cuts, his world travels and his favorite pork dishes.
NPB: What inspired you to become a chef? How does your personal experience growing up in an Italian-American family influence your cooking today?
Chef: I really loved what the kitchen had to offer. It’s a hands-on craft about making people happy. I was a very bad student with many learning disabilities so working in a hands-on career was a natural transition. But seeing people be happy over a plate of food was the deciding factor.
I have so many great food memories from eating with my grandparents that it inspired me to become a chef and create those lasting impressions for others. There is something so cool about making people happy with food. It’s a very powerful medium.
NPB: In general, what is your food philosophy? How do you express that in your restaurant, Incanto and salumi business, Boccalone?
Chef: We purchase from responsible ranchers and farmers. We try to educate our staff and guests, as best as possible, and try to improve what we do everyday.
NPB: Your food is offal-centric and you even have a dedicated website, OffalGood.com. What spurred your love affair with offal and made you want to elevate the oftentimes discarded parts of the animal to haute cuisine?
Chef: I am not doing anything new. I am riding on the coattails and backs of thousands of great peasant cooks and grandmas all over the world.
NPB: You are often quoted as wanting “people to understand a whole-animal ethic.” What do you mean by this statement?
Chef: There is more to an animal then chops, loins and bacon. Buying whole animals teaches people to appreciate meat in a whole new way. It’s a very simple thought process. It’s a “nothing-wasted” policy. Use all the animal has to give, make it taste great, and educate people to eat it, and that is how you can change people’s perception one plate at a time.
NPB: If you had to name one chef that has influenced your career the most who would that be and why?
Chef: There are so many chefs who influenced me along my career for many different reasons. If I were to just pick one I would do a disservice to all the others who have spent time and energy on me.
NPB: What is the most interesting non-Italian pork dish you have come across during your travels? What’s the most interesting dish with pork offal?
Chef: I would have to say on a recent trip to Japan, I had a lot of raw pork offal. I ate raw liver, kidney and heart, for a starter. Then we moved into grilling all the offal as yakatori skewers, which were perfectly grilled over binchotan charcoal. There was also a stew of braised pork offal in miso and a dish of grilled pork throat – it was so crunchy and unique in texture.
NPB: Are there any unique ingredients you have found on your travels that pair exceptionally well with pork? Are there any pork and noodle dishes you’ve tried to re-create upon your return? If so, how did it go?
Chef: The great thing about pork is that it’s a very versatile meat that works well with almost anything. That is why it is found in so many food cultures around the world.
NPB: The National Pork Board had the privilege of recently tasting a few items on the Incanto menu including the “Handkerchief Pasta & Rustic Pork Ragù.” What inspired you to menu this dish at Incanto?
Chef: This is a very classic pasta dish known as fazzoliti, which translates to handkerchief. I wanted to do a simple sugo that was a go-to for guests that were timid of other items on the menu. Because we buy whole animals, I needed to make an outlet for all the meat we were processing from these whole hogs.
NPB: What is your favorite authentic Italian pork and pasta dish?
Chef: It’s hard to pick just one pork dish but I would have to say I really love spicy sausage, white beans, rabe and orecchiette. It’s the perfect balance of rich, bitter and spicy, with a pasta shape that translates to little pig ears.
NPB: Can you tell us about Boccalone and the different types of salumi offered? How did you become so passionate about charcuterie?
Chef: At Boccalone, we make 28 different types of cooked, cured and fresh products that are sold direct, which lets us control the product and the message to guests. I started making salumi about 11 years ago because I wanted to have control over the products I was serving to guests, knowing where my meat came from and the final flavor profiles. Also, I needed a lesson in patience and this was a tasty way to learn.
NPB: If you were to recommend a dish with a Boccalone product what would you create and how would you menu it?
Chef: Nduja and cured sardine bruschetta. The heat of the nduja, a spicy Calabrian pork salame, helps the flavor of the sardines to “pop” – a perfect balance of land and sea.
NPB: You are very busy these days, traveling and filming “how-to” videos for Offal Good to writing a comic book and developing a knife-line. What’s next and how do you do all this while running a successful restaurant and salumi business?
Chef: I never really know what is next. I am always trying to get better at what we do at both Incanto and Boccalone. I am working on a new cookbook all about offal and a follow up Wolverine comic book for Marvel. There are a few new knife shapes to come out from my collaboration with Shun Blue. Every day I question if I am doing it all well. It’s a bit maddening.
NPB: What are your favorite pork dishes in the Bay area and where can we find them?
Twice Cooked Bacon and Tan Tan Noodles at Spices
294 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118
Carnitas Burrito at La Palma Mexicatessen
2884 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder from Chef Staffan Terje at Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Pig Skin Noodles1 pig skin from belly
pork sausage as needed
Smoked puttanesca sauce as needed
Pangritata as needed
Pork Sausage8 pounds pork shoulder diced
2 pounds pork belly diced
1/2 oz wt basil
1/2 oz wt lemon verbena
1/2 oz wt thyme
1/2 oz wt lemon zest
as needed kosher salt
as needed ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
Smoked Puttanesca Sauce1 pound tomatoes cored and quartered
1 pound mirepoix
2 oz wt white wine
1/2 oz wt capers minced
1/2 oz wt anchovies minced
1/2 oz wt mint minced
as needed kosher salt
as needed ground black pepper
Pangritataas needed bread crumbs
as needed parsley
as needed kosher salt
as needed ground black pepper
- Blanch skin for 1½ hours
- Clean skin and scrape
- Cut into 1/8-inch strips like noodles
- Brown pork sausage
- Add smoked puttanesca sauce and toss to combine
- Garnish with pangritata
- Combine all ingredients and grind following basic sausage guidelines
- Smoke tomatoes, onions and shallots for 1 hour
- Sweat mirepoix until soft, add tomatoes, onions and shallots
- Process tomato mixture through a foodmill
- Simmer and reduce sauce by twenty percent
- Finish sauce with white wine, capers, anchovies and mint
- Combine all ingredients
IngredientsSix 3 pints Broth recipe follows
Noodles recipe follows
Pork Belly recipe follows
As needed sake
As needed sesame oil
As needed scallion sliced
Eggs6 farm eggs
Splash white vinegar
Pork Belly1 small pork belly skin and ribs off, preferably Berkshire
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups sake
2 cups mirin
1 cup sugar
6 bunches scallions
6 cloves garlic whole
1 4-inch knob ginger sliced
2 shallots sliced
Broth30 pounds pork neck bones
10 pounds chicken backs roasted at 400F until dark brown
1 pound ginger split down the middle the long way, caramelized, face down on in a hot pan
6 yellow onions cut in half and blackened in a hot pan, face down
6 bunches scallions
6 heads garlic with the tops cut off
1 quart dry shitaki mushrooms
1/2 pound kombu
Noodles3 1/2 cups a.p. flour
1/2 cup rye flour
12 grams baked soda
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup cold water
- While the chicken bones are roasting blanch the pork neck bones, starting in cold water, allow the water to come to a rolling boil and remain in that state for five minutes. Drain water, and remove the blanched bones to a sink where they can be rinsed.
- Place the pork neck bone and the now roasted chicken backs into a large stockpot, with the charred ginger and onions, add the rest of the ingredients as well.
- Fill with cold water to cover and bring the water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and allow to remain on the heat for 6 hours. Drain, strain and refrigerate.
- For baked soda - place baking soda in a 250 F oven for one hour, this turns the sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate- an alkaline salt which gives the noodles their yellow color and springy texture, and allows them to keep this texture when placed in hot broth.
- Dissolve the baked soda in the warm water, then combine with the cold water.
- Place all fours into the mixer, stir to combine then add the water with the baked soda into the mixing bowl.
- Allow the mixer to combine the dough for 12 minutes. When mixed remove the dough and let rest for an hour.
- Once rested, divide the dough into six pieces and run each one through a pasta sheeter, once you have the sheets rolled to the desired consistency, about the thickness of a quarter, attach the spaghetti attachment to the pasta machine. Run the sheet of pasta through the machine, flouring the noodles as they come out and set them aside on a well-floured sheet tray. Noodles can also be frozen until you are ready to eat them.
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
- Lay out pork belly on cutting board, season with salt, roll up the belly lengthwise, with the skin side facing out. Next using butcher’s twine, tightly secure the belly at half-inch intervals.
- Place the belly in a high-sided roasting pan. Bring all the ingredients to a bowl in a pot and pour them over the belly, cover with foil and place in the oven for 3 to 4 hours.
- When tender, place the whole pan in the refrigerator to cool completely in the braising liquid.
- Slice to desired thickness, just under a quarter inch is recommended.
- Place the eggs in a pot of cold water with the vinegar, bring to a boil and shut off heat, cover and let stand for five minutes.
- Cool the eggs and peel.
- Bring broth to the boil over high heat, meanwhile cook the noodles in boiling water for about two minutes.
- Place two slices of the belly in a 200 degree F oven with a splash of sake on top.
- Put the egg into the pot with the boiling water. Reheat the egg for about two minutes. Once the noodles are done cooking arrange them into six soup bowls.
- Cut the reheated egg in half and place on top of the noodles, arrange the reheated belly into the bowl, pour the hot broth around the sides of the noodles, egg and pork belly.
- Drizzle sesame oil and garnish with sliced scallion.
Did You Know?
Pork dishes are starring on menus at popular restaurants across the country. From spicy sausage sandwiches and grilled pork flatbreads to bacon, bacon and more bacon, chefs and patrons are taking notice of pork’s versatility and incredible flavor. Take a look at the restaurants that are ramping up menus with pork.
- Bakers Square is offering a Pork Melt Flatbread. The sandwich is made with tender pulled pork, crispy bacon, pickles, Thousand Island dressing and Swiss cheese between grilled flatbread. (46 units, HQ in Nashville, TN)
- Convenient store ampm added a rib sandwich to its menu. The sandwich, which features a pork patty and barbecue sauce with optional onions, pickles and jalapenos, will be available year-round. (950 units, HQ in Phoenix, AZ)
- Classics never go out of style! Quiznos continues on their very successful menu expansion by launching the new Italian Spicy Sausage and Italian Meatball subs: (2,353 units, HQ in Denver, CO)
- The Italian Spicy Sausage sub features a rich marinara with sautéed peppers and onions and melted mozzarella.
- The Italian Meatball sub is a blend of pork and beef with double mozzarella and marinara.
- Lazy Dog Cafe added a line of Asian-inspired items to its permanent menu: (11 units, HQ in Huntington Beach, CA)
- Dim Sum Dumplings— including pork pot stickers with sesame-soy dipping sauce.
- BBQ Pork Fried Rice—shredded Chinese barbecued pork, scrambled egg, rice, bean sprouts, carrots, peas, red bell peppers, green onions and spinach.
- Schlotzsky’s launched a line of three toasted Winter-rific Sandwiches and new salads, available through February 9: (340 units, HQ in Austin, TX)
- The Hickory Ham & Gouda sandwich features shaved hickory ham, Gouda, lettuce, tomato, red onion and barbecue sauce.
- The Italian Chopped Salad is made with shredded ham, pepperoni, two types of salamis, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and olive tapenade.
- White Castle is now offering Potato Bacon Chowder, made with chunks of potatoes, veggies and delicious bacon crumbles. (406 units, HQ in Columbus, OH)
- SONIC Drive-In is giving breakfast a jumpstart with two flavorful new limited-time breakfast offerings, made with salsa Verde, real avocado, and bacon. These menu items keep breakfast fresh and can be enjoyed any time of day for a protein-packed, flavorful meal: (3,556 units, HQ in Oklahoma City, OK)
- The Salsa Verde Breakfast Toaster® is made with crispy bacon, bold salsa verde, fluffy eggs, fresh onions and melted American cheese, sandwiched between two thick slices of Texas Toast.
- The Salsa Verde Breakfast Burrito is comprised of the same savory, quality ingredients, as well as melted cheddar cheese and Sonic Drive-In’s signature Tots, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
- McDonald’s added the Bacon McDouble to their new “Dollar Menu & More” menu, as well as the Bacon Buffalo Ranch McChicken and the Bacon Cheddar McChicken. (14,157 units, HQ in Oak Brook, IL)
- Burgerville launched an LTO Pepper Bacon Blue Burger—¼-pound antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, nitrite-free pepper bacon, Rogue Creamery blue cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce and garlic aioli on a toasted cornmeal-dusted bun. (39 units, HQ in Vancouver, WA)
- Jack in the Box rolled out a limited-time Jalapeno BBQ Burger featuring a 100% beef patty, crispy jalapenos, crispy onion strips, American cheese, hickory-smoked bacon and jalapeno barbecue sauce on a toasted sesame-seed bun. The chain also updated their biscuits to include the Southern Style Biscuit Sandwiches, made with bacon or sausage plus an egg and cheese. (2,255 units, HQ in San Diego, CA)
- Max & Erma’s is now offering Tony’s Bodacious Bacon Cheeseburger a hand crushed burger topped with creamy roasted garlic cheese spread and savory bacon marmalade on a buttered brioche bun. (72 units, HQ in Nashville, TN)
The National Pork Board celebrates innovators who push foodculture further, and we’re proud to present Project: Blackbird in partnership with Plate Magazine. Project: Blackbird is the story of four men, their vision and a look at one of the most influential restaurants in the country.
Over the last sixteen years, Chicago’s Blackbird has emerged as one of the most significant restaurants in America. Chandra Ram, editor at Plate, spoke to more than 40 former employees, media and chefs about Blackbird to trace how one restaurant came to shape today’s culinary landscape.
Click here to view Project: Blackbird.
The National Pork Board will be attending and sponsoring the 2014 Menu Directions Conference in Charlotte, NC, February 23-25. The conference, presented by FoodService Director, provides non-commercial foodservice operators two and a half days of educational workshops, culinary demos and keynote speaker presentations led by industry experts.
The National Pork Board’s Stephen Gerike and Neel Sahni will be presenting two culinary workshops on local barbecue with Chef Jason Alley from Comfort and Pasture restaurants in Richmond, VA. In addition, Gerike will be acting as the Master of Ceremonies during the market basket competition.