Authenticity, portability and incredible flavor – what’s not to love? International street food has come to America, but this on-the-go culinary movement has deep roots in almost all cultures around the globe. Originally considered peasant food, it was sold on the streets or in public places where urban populations could affordably access a variety of prepared foods.
American street food culture used to mean hot dog and pretzel carts.. But in 2008, Roy Choi changed the landscape with his Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi, in Los Angeles. Considered a founder of the modern food truck trend, Chef Choi showed Americans that street food really had no limits. Kogi’s food was thoughtful, delicious and evoked a sense of place and nostalgia. Combined with the rise of Twitter and other social media outlets, the trend quickly swept the nation. And because Kogi’s launch coincided with the recession, people’s minds and wallets were open to comfort foods from all cultures. The opportunity for emerging cooks to open their own kitchen and create their own style of cuisine at a fraction of a brick and mortar startup also helped fuel the growth of trucks and carts joining the fray.
Today, food trucks can accurately be called a national phenomenon. From the humble beginnings of one taco truck roaming the streets of LA, the street food scene has exploded – consumers flock to food stalls, food cart pods, and independent trucks as a culinary destination for unique meals, or simply to enjoy some really good food. As more consumers grab lunch on the corner, chefs are looking to amp up the creativity and excitement of menus – and pork is king when it comes to grabbing attention and appetites. According to Food Genius, among meat types in street food menuing, pork is the most widely used at 68%, compared to chicken or beef (62% and 57%, respectively). They also show trucks are using pork in innovative ways, pairing it with different cheeses, spices, or in unique cuisine concepts.
Here’s a look at some of the operators who are filling stomachs across the country:
Independent Food Trucks:
In an industry where location is key, independent food truck operators have flocked to social media platforms like Twitter, Yelp and Facebook to let fans know where they’re heading and when they’ll be there. Building a following is paramount to trucks that don’t have a consistent berth in a stall or market, and many operators are posting before the truck even takes to the road. Many trucks also use social media to feature menu specials or promote events. Take a look at some of the top trucks in action around the country
- Food cart parks are the norm in Austin, but the East Side King franchise mixes it up by partnering with bars as the backyard food option. The latest from Paul Qui and co-owner Chef Thai Changthong is Thai-Kun, newly named to Bon Appetit’s 2014 The Hot 10, is parked in the back of Wonderland bar in Austin and serves an 8-item menu
- The Waterfall Pork is a fan favorite – grilled pork shoulder with fiery Tiger Cry sauce. To balance the heat, the dish is served with pickled cabbage, cooling fresh herbs, and sweet rice
- Miami-based Gastropod trailer, by Jeremiah Bullfrog who cooked at El Bulli and wd-50, made a recent appearance at Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. The cart doesn’t serve daily in Miami, but is known to make appearances at festivals and other big gatherings – followers monitor Bullfrog’s movements closely on Twitter, so as not to miss out on the rotating haute cuisine menu – past items include:
- Curry Pork Tacos – pulled pork, corn tortillas, cilantro
- La Porchetta Cubana – Duroc pork belly and loin with mojo pickled fennel
- Dirty Chips – kettle chips cooked in pork fat, spicy mayo, and slaw bits
- Triple Decker Slider Burger – stuffed with shaved pork belly on a potato bun with onions cooked in bacon
- Benton’s Bacon Fried Rice – everything bagel with furikake shake, poached egg, and scallion
- El Chinito Cubano – Benton’s ham, pork belly terrine and Hoisin mustard
- Mama Chow’s Kitchen in downtown Portland was recently voted one of the best in the city. This stand-alone food cart offers Chinese American comfort food. The Kalua Pork is served with garlic noodles and chayote squash. The truck uses Facebook posting to encourage consumer engagement
- In Las Vegas, NV Sausagefest has garnered a following through social media and partnering with local music festivals. Offering gourmet sausages, the truck features a Longanisa bánh mì, combining Filipino and Vietnamese street food into one amazing bite
Food Cart Pods:
Unlike food trucks, food carts don’t travel under their own power so mobility isn’t as easy. Thus, many carts tend to congregate in pods, offering consumers a one-stop shop to sample a variety of delicious cuisines.
Portland, OR has a flourishing pod culture and carts are set up in permanent structures. Offering a range of sophisticated fare, including a variety of global cuisines, there are over 600 in the city. Favorite pods include the largest collection at Adler Street, Fifth Avenue, Mississippi Marketplace, and Southeast Portland.
- The People’s Pig in the Adler Street pod owns the market for porchetta sandwiches and serves them with arugula and green apple
- “The Original Schnitzelwich” hails from the acclaimed Tábor Czech Food
- It features breaded pork loin in a Ciabatta roll with lettuce, paprika spread, sautéed onion and horseradish
- In Southeast Portland, Umai Ramen is one of the city’s favorite ramen carts.
- Their namesake dish features cart-made alkaline noodles topped with steamed greens, Umai pork shoulder, marinated egg, pickled shiitake, and scallion in a house double broth – an addictive chicken-pork broth that’s finished with duck fat
Austin may be known for its barbecue but it also offers up some intriguing street food fare. You’ll see trailers, carts, trucks and wagons on parking lots, sidewalks, in groups or standing by themselves – they are everywhere! If that seems overwhelming, don’t worry – there’s an app for that! The AustinFoodCarts app was developed to engage the community and make it easier for locals and tourists alike to follow their favorite stops.
One of the most notable stops is the South Austin Trailer Park, which features a group of food trailers, a pavilion full of picnic tables, strung lights and foosball and ping pong gaming tables – the perfect environment for a party! There is even a unique barn for special events.
- Torchy’s Taco Truck is the founder of this park, and often considered the main attraction. The truck suggests adding a fried avocado to any dish for an adventurous twist, and they’ve even created the Taco Anatomy System on their website to allow consumers to find their perfect taco combination. Users click their preferences and the website matches them with a perfect palate-satisfying taco!
- Their menu features Green Chile Pork – slow roasted pork carnitas simmered with green chilies – as well as jalapeño pork sausage.
Off the Grid, in San Francisco, boasts that they are the largest network of gourmet mobile food markets anywhere. This unique collaboration showcases hundreds of vendors each week in dozens of locations around the Bay Area, bringing communities together through a shared food experience. The market uses social media and a robust website to track all the delicious food whereabouts, with a motto of “Making street food happen… all the time”
- Reminiscent of the original Asian street food, The Chairman offers steamed buns and baked buns filled with your choice:
- Tender Pork Belly with turmeric pickled daikon and green shiso
- Coca-Cola Braised Pork with savoy cabbage and preserved yellow mustard seeds
- Sanguchon serves Peruvian street food, like hearty sandwiches stuffed with classic and contemporary Peruvian ingredients
- Pan con Chicharron – pork loin sliced, fried yams, marinated onions in lime juice and cream de rocoto
- Barbacoa – pulled pork barbecue with Inka-Cola sauce, potato chips, coleslaw and aji rocoto sweet sauce
Though it’s newer to the scene, Atlanta’s Food Truck Park has become the South’s everyday place to come together as a community to experience food and drink, and browse local art. Truck vendors rotate so there’s always something new and delicious to choose from any day of the week.
- Potentially the first food truck in Atlanta, Yumbii serves Korean, Mexican and American fusion. Highlights include:
- Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos with red Asian barbecue sauce
- Yumbii sliders – spicy pulled-pork topped with cucumber, kimchee sesame-salad, and shredded Mexican cheese
- Sweet Auburn Barbecue offers a variety of slow-smoked meats, where classic southern barbecue goes hand in hand with modern eclectic influences:
- Pimento Cheese Wontons made with bacon marmalade and sweet Thai chili sauce
- Sweet Auburn Country Picnic Plate – shaved Benton’s Country Ham, homemade pickles, pimento cheese and candied bacon crostini
- Coconut Lemongrass Pork Spare Ribs
- Auburn Bacon Pork Burger topped with pulled pork, candied bacon, Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion
- Mighty Meatballs food truck takes the Italian sandwich global, offering a variety of flavor profiles including a bánh mì-style pork meatball sandwich
Market Squares and Food Stalls
Public markets used to be a mainstay in cities across the country, but they fell from prominence. Now, they’re making a comeback. These community hubs feature specialty shops, eateries, local artisans, and regional food vendors, usually in an open-air environment. These establishments are helping to move public markets back into the spotlight.
In operation since 1917, LA Grand Central Market has a decidedly updated vibe in addition to some of its well-worn classics, thanks to a 2013 renovation that added space for a dozen or so new vendors. The market offers an eclectic mix of everything you need – from old tacos and Chinese food to new choices like breakfast sandwiches, pupusas, butchered meats and specialty cheeses. The market is a centerpiece of what LA has to offer and reflects the population of the downtown area, with people from all walks of life enjoying the mix of cultures and cuisines.
- Belcampo Meat Co. is a farm, processing plant, neighborhood butcher shop and restaurant. The Grand Central Market location offers premium pork cuts from porterhouse and sirloin pork chops to breakfast and lunch specialties like:
- Pork Cochinita – avocado, pickled onion and fried egg
- Cabeza Frita Cemita – deep-fried pork head and trotter, avocado, salsa and queso
- Poblano Pork Cemita – braised pork shoulder, chipotle, avocado, salsa and queso
- Berlin Currywurst serves the number one street food in Germany. If you visit Berlin by night, you can enjoy the vibrant corner Currywurst stand, a popular neighborhood meeting point
- Visitors select a made-to-order bratwurst, paprikawurst, or currywurst on a bun, plus a sauce and heat level
- Roast to Go has sold tacos, burritos and combination plates since 1952, as well as meats by the pound for parties and catering
- Meats include: carnitas, chicharron, el pastor and trompa pork nose
- Sarita’s Pupuseria serves Salvadorian cuisine based on family recipes from owner Sara Clark, serving handmade pupusas with a dozen different fillings, as well as fried plaintains, yuca con chicharron, stews, and other dishes
- The Revuletas o Mixtas de chicharron is a combination of pork, queso and beans
Oxbow Public Market, located in the Oxbow District of Napa, has become the local gathering place for great food and wine in downtown Napa and throughout the Napa Valley. The 40,000 square foot marketplace, which includes a scenic outdoor deck with seating along the Napa River, features a diverse tenant mixture of local food vendors, and artisan cafes.
- Fatted Calf is a charcuterie and butcher shop dedicated to the details that produce incredibly tasty food. Featuring multiple varieties of fresh sausage and cured meats, the store also offers many enticing daily options:
- Early Girl Tomato and Ham Tart made with Fatted Calf’s smoked brown sugar ham with basil, melted onions and comte cheese in a flaky tart
- Heritage Pork Shoulder with fennel pollen, chili and garlic
- Toasted Fiscalini Cheddar and Bacon Jam sandwich
- C Casa offers a fresh approach to tacos, with chalkboard specials including the pork carnita tostada with white beans, corn relish, poblanos, micro greens, romaine, lime crema and cotija cheese
Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market was established in 1907 to connect citizens and farmers and it continues its “Meet the Producer” tradition with a year-round farmers market, owner-operated bakeries, fish markets, butcher shops, produce stands and specialty food stores. There are more than 80 restaurants within the Market boundaries, from take-out counters to fine dining establishments.
- Piroshky Piroshky brings a taste of Russia to the Northwest, serving the Russian version of the stuffed hand-held pie in both sweet and savory variations
- Favorites include the ham and cheese and salmon pate.
- Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie’s sandwich shops offers The Three Little Pigs – porchetta, premium Kassler ham, and whipped lardo
- Mee Sum Pastry, a family-owned business, serves a variety of steamed or baked hombows, or filled sweet bread rolls
- They’re best known for the BBQ Pork filling made with sweet and savory BBQ pork mixed with spices and onions
Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market occupies the former Reading Terminal train shed in the heart of Center City. After being revitalized in the 1990s, the Reading Terminal Market now features more than 80 restaurants, shops, and farm stands.
- DiNic’s, now in its fourth generation, serves classic Italian sandwiches stuffed with Italian-style pulled pork
- Their famous roast pork, broccoli rabe and provoline sandwich was crowned The Best Sandwich in America by Travel Channel in 2012
- Salumeria, an Italian deli and grocery, also serves lunch including hoagies filled with their charcuterie
- Molly Malloy’s, the market’s first gastropub, sources from their neighbors in the market and offers pork pot stickers drizzled with spicy szechuan oil.
- Beck’s Cajun Café is a New Orleans original and offers classic Cajun cuisine
- Favorites include the Muffaletta – salami, ham, mortadella, sharp provolone, and olive salad served on Italian bread.
Street food is the perfect way to deliver authenticity and amazing flavor on the go. No longer peasant food, this fare is now a driving force in the culinary scene, impacting concepts, flavors, and applications of up-and-coming trucks and pods as well as brick-and-mortar locations. As this trend evolves and expands, America’s street food scene will continue to raise the bar on taste and creativity, inspiring a whole new generation of chefs and operators.
A Conversation With
The 4th annual Pork Summit in St. Helena, CA was a feast for mind and stomach. Guests spent the weekend learning all about pork – from butchery and salumi to beverage pairings and new pork nomenclature. We spoke to winners of state and regional Taste of Elegance competitions about their experiences during the exclusive educational weekend.
Matthew Vawter, Chef de Cuisine at Fruition Restaurant in Denver, CO
His weekend highlight: the Farmstead dinner.
“The food was great, I got to meet new restaurant people, and had great conversations with other chefs and food writers. Can’t really ask for a better place to enjoy an outdoor cocktail hour eating cured meats and other pork.”
On learning about the new nomenclature:
“I’ve served pork chops for the last fifteen years. To be honest, it never really crossed my mind that we have ribeye steaks, T-bones, rack of lamb, porterhouse, etc., but we’ve always just had pork chops. Stephen’s discussion on the change in terminology left me wondering, why does everyone just call them pork chops?”
Todd McDunn, Chef and Resident Director of Foodservice at Scotts Miracle-Gro Campus in Warren, OH – two-time Pork Summit attendee
On butchering a whole hog:
“I learned to butcher a whole hog during my first Pork Summit in 2011, and I’m still working on being as good as Stephan Gerike! During the Market Basket competition, I chose to work with the pig’s trotter because I had never stuffed a whole one before and wanted to learn. With a little help from Chef Tony Incontro we made an Italian-style Zampone – it turned out very nice.”
His weekend highlight and key takeaway:
“Definitely hanging out with Bruce Aidells, talking pork at the wonderful dinner at Farmstead! What a beautiful California night it was, sipping wine outside with plenty of great food and the wisps of smoke in the air from a roasting whole hog and grilling sausages. My number one key takeaway has to be the new recognition of pork names we will see with the nomenclature updates.”
On coming again:
“I would be the first one on the bus!”
Ryan Hembree, Chef at Trail Ridge Retirement Community in Sioux Falls, SD – two-time Pork Summit attendee
On his Market Basket experience:
“I spent most of my time in the outdoor cooking area. I split a head and roasted it in the wood-fired oven, smoked a whole leg, and combination cooked a belly with ribs in the smoker and then grilled them. I was on a team led by Chef Jonathan Waxman and we decided to use the richness of the belly and multiple cuts from both the head and the leg in our dishes.”
On learning how to break down a fresh pork leg:
“I was excited to be reminded of all the cuts available from breaking down a fresh pork leg into separate muscles. I am currently using leg cutlets, making a mini pit ham and pork pastrami in-house. I am finding some really great ways to utilize the other muscles – the top round is good for marinating and grilling and makes a great roast as well; the eye of round for grilling and stir frying. I’ve also had good luck brining a bottom round as an alternative for boneless chops.”
On his Pork Summit experience:
“The wealth of knowledge that Pork Summit provides is almost overwhelming. The chef demos, the butchery, and the networking with fellow chefs all in the beautiful setting of Napa Valley was truly an amazing experience.”
Nate Weida, Sous Chef at Savory Grille in Macungie, PA – two-time Pork Summit attendee
On his Pork Summit experience:
“To name any one favorite highlight from the weekend would be unfair. From Pork 101 with Stephen Gerike to beer tasting and pairing with Jared Rouben, the presentations were not only educational, but also motivating – especially Tony Incontro, who shared his knowledge of curing pork. It’s an amazing experience that every chef who gives a damn about the pig should experience. This was my second Pork Summit and it was just as good, if not better, than the first. I would attend every year if permitted.”
Michael Priola, Chef at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, FL
On the Market Basket exercise:
“I used pork tongue, because I wanted to cook a part of the pig that is used less often than other parts. Working with Chef Jose Enrique, we decided to incorporate the brined and smoked tongue into a chilaquiles dish.”
On his Pork Summit experience:
“Picking a favorite part is hard, because it was all very wonderful – from the warm welcome to each activity. But my key takeaway was the use of pig’s blood by Brad Farmerie to make a Blood Pudding Terrine. I would definitely enjoy the chance to come again.”
Ingredients4 each 12-inch loaves Pan De Manteca bread Puerto Rican sweet bread similar to Bolillo bread, sliced with both halves just connected. (Can substitute French or Italian Bread.)
As needed Tripleta sauce
As needed lettuce 1/8-inch shredded
1 pound ham deli sliced, and diced into approximately 3/4-inch
1 pound pork loin Milanesa pounded ¼” thick, Panko crusted and fried
1 pound pork carnitas prepared, hand pulled
Tomato slices (optional)
Tripleta Spread1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
- Evenly spread Tripleta spread on both cut sides of bread
- On bottom half of bread, evenly layer shredded lettuce
- On top of lettuce, evenly layer ham
- On top of ham, place pork milanesa
- On top of pork milanese evenly place carnitas
- Lightly brush the top and bottom of bread with melted butter
- Place the sandwich in the press and press down until ingredients are heated through
- Grill until the bread is golden and crusty to the touch. If using a griddle top, you can use a heavy hot skillet and press down on the sandwich
- Slice each sandwich in half and serve with Papas Fritas
- In mixing bowl combine ingredients and mix well to combine. Set aside.
Ingredients2 outside fresh pork leg muscle
pork belly skin-on, braised, as needed
Pernil Marinade1 cup fresh sour orange juice
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup black pepper fresh ground
2 TBL olive oil
3 TBL oregano fresh, minced
2 TBL cumin
30 cloves garlic crushed
- In mixing bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, oil, oregano, cumin, and garlic. Set aside
- Cut pork leg into cubes and skewer, alternating with braised pork belly slices (when cooked it will produce cracklin/crispy skin)
- Submerse skewers in Pernil marinade for few hours, reserve some marinade for dipping sauce
- Grill pork on a plancha or flat griddle until fully browned on all sides or cooked to approximately 140 degrees and let rest
- Serve with sliced Cuban bread, tostones, Puerto Rican-Style Hot Sauce and dipping sauce
Did You Know?
New Pork Common Industry Audit Gains Third-Party Certification, Builds on PQA Plus Program
After 18 months of industry collaboration, the National Pork Board announced that the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) certified a new common industry audit platform for pig farmers, packers, processors and customers, and that the new tool is available to the public. Designed to provide consumers greater assurance of the care taken to improve animal well-being and food safety, the tool expands the existing Pork Quality Assurance® Plus program to serve as a single, common audit platform for the industry.
“As an industry, we know that our consumers are demanding a higher level of integrity from the pork industry’s quality assurance processes and procedures,” said John Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Pork Board. “We are encouraged by the broad support we have received from our industry partners to develop this tool that has now gained third-party certification.”
America’s pig farmers first introduced the concept of a common audit at the 2013 National Pork Industry Forum. Since then, farmers, packers, vets and academia have come together to construct a credible, affordable solution for improving animal well-being.
This new audit has several key components, including a new toolkit for farmers, instructions for auditors and a detailed description of on-farm biosecurity. It was beta-tested on farms across the country and is ready for implementation by farms and processing plants across the U.S. To help avoid the duplicative, costly, and inefficient audit programs that are commonplace in some countries, this new tool is designed to:
- Meet individual company and customer needs
- Focus on outcome-based criteria that measure and improve animal welfare
- Provide clarity with regard to audit standards and expectations
- Minimize duplication and prevent over-sampling
- Ensure greater integrity of the audit process through consistent application
“As a pork producer, I am excited because this announcement of a common platform sets a clear vision that challenges the status quo and meets domestic and international consumer needs,” said National Pork Board President Dale Norton. “It’s the right tool at the right time to ensure we provide high-quality pork from well-cared for pigs.”
Pork producers and allied industry can learn more about the common industry audit by going to www.pork.org/commonaudit
Click here to read frequently asked questions on the new common industry audit.
Note: To view the news release from PAACO regarding the common industry audit, go to http://animalauditor.org/press.php
Pork had a major impact again in 2014. Its authenticity and versatility make it a chef favorite – and from sweet and savory pork carnitas to soy-glazed pig wings, consumers can’t get enough of its amazing flavor. Take a look at who’s cooking with pork.
- Kona Grill is featuring Pig Wings as a seasonal item. They are prepared with a sake soy glaze, cilantro oil and Asian slaw. (26 units, HQ in Scottsdale, AZ)
- TGI Fridays new Rib Flight Trio offers customers an expanded selection of grilled, tender baby back pork ribs with choice of three of five sauces served with seasoned fries and ginger-lime slaw: (933 units, HQ in Carrollton, TX)
- Applewood Bacon-Crusted Ribs – start with a spicy-sweet chipotle and onion relish with Applewood-smoked bacon
- Chipotle Smoked BBQ – smoky chipotle, California and Arbol chili peppers come together to create a one-of-a-kind flavor with a smoky finish
- Sweet Memphis Rub – glazed with BBQ sauce and rubbed with brown sugar, chipotle pepper, garlic and onion
- Tennessee BBQ – roasted tomato, molasses and a touch of vinegar
- Famous Jack Daniel’s – a blend of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, brown sugar toasted garlic and cayenne
- Longhorn Steakhouse added Apple Cider Baby Back Ribs, available for a limited time only. (445 units, HQ in Orlando, FL)
- Fogo de Chão added center-cut bone-in pork chops with a Brazilian spice rub to the all-you-can-eat meal. (31 units, HQ in Dallas, TX)
- Burger King restaurants are bringing back the Yumbo for a limited time after a 40-year hiatus. It’s made with savory black forest ham, melted American cheese, crisp lettuce, and mayo on a toasted hoagie bun. (13,677 units, HQ in Miami, FL)
- Elephant Bar added Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin made with fresh herbs. (46 units, HQ in La Mirada, CA)
- Eddie Merlot’s debuted new items made with pork belly. The new lounge menu features a Wagyu burger topped with braised pork belly, Taleggio cheese, a fried egg and Bloody Mary sauce. The lounge menu also includes Pork Belly and Egg with asparagus and Mornay sauce. (9 units, HQ in Bloomfield Hills, MI)
- Del Taco announced the return of slow-braised, shredded pork carnitas. The pork is slow cooked until tender in small-batch kettles, and is available in five tasty items: (547 units, HQ in Lake Forest, CA)
- Carnitas Chipotle Burrito combines carnitas, seasoned black beans, fresca lime rice, creamy chipotle sauce, freshly grated Cheddar cheese and hand-chopped pico de gallo salsa
- Carnitas & Papas Burrito combines carnitas, crinkle-cut fries, hand-chopped pico de gallo salsa, fresh sour cream and creamy guacamole
- Carnitas Taco al Carbon features carnitas, zesty California chile sauce, onions and cilantro in two corn tortillas
- Carnitas Combo Burrito features slow-cooked beans, carnitas, fire-roasted green sauce and freshly grated Cheddar cheese
- Carnitas Loaded Fries features crinkle-cut fries topped with carnitas, freshly grated Cheddar cheese, Del Taco sauce, onions and cilantro
- Taco Time is featuring a Sweet Pork Burrito filled with sweet and savory pork carnitas, black beans, rice, Cheddar cheese and sour cream, rolled in a home-style tortilla. (156 units, HQ in Scottsdale, AZ)
- California Pizza Kitchen added a Korean BBQ Pizza to their menu, featuring roasted pork in a sweet and spicy Korean barbecue sauce topped with Napa cabbage, julienned pears and carrots, slivered scallions and fresh cilantro in a Ponzu vinaigrette. (215 units, HQ in Playa Vista, CA)
- Olive Garden added Bucatini with Spicy Tomato Bacon Sauce to the menu. (828 units, HQ in Orlando, FL)
- Mazzio’s is featuring Pepperollies – pizza dough layered with cheese and pepperoni, rolled, baked and served with a side of marinara sauce. (140 units, HQ in Tulsa, OK)
- Panera Bread brought the Ham & Swiss Baked Egg Soufflé back to the breakfast menu. (1,845 units, HQ in St. Louis, MO)
- Famous Dave’s is offering a Hickory Smoked Glazed Ham and Ham Feast for the holidays. It’s smoked in-house and glazed with citrus, brown sugar and spices. (194 units, HQ in Minnetonka, MN)
- Wild Wing Cafe introduced a new flatbread, The Southerner – a 10-inch flatbread topped with pulled pork, mixed cheeses, Old Yeller barbecue sauce, coleslaw and caramelized onions. (33 units, HQ in Mt. Pleasant, SC)
- BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse added three new items: (147 units, HQ in Huntington Beach, CA)
- Carnitas Fries with Chile Verde – crispy‑thin fries smothered in twice‑cooked shredded pork, roasted green chile sauce and Jack and Cheddar cheese, then topped with freshly chopped onions and cilantro
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip – a savory blend of herb-infused cream cheese, bold pizza sauce and a five-cheese blend topped with diced pepperoni and Italian seasoning
- BJ’s Fritos Nachos – BJ’s Piranha Pale Ale Chili, crispy Fritos Corn Chips and cheese dip topped with shredded Jack and Cheddar cheese, jalapeños, smoked bacon, sour cream, diced tomatoes and green onions
- Pizza Hut is adding new specialty pizzas to the menu, many of which feature pork: (6,326 units, HQ in Plano, TX)
- BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger – barbecue sauce, meatballs, hardwood-smoked bacon, red onions and diced Roma tomatoes on Cheddar crust with a drizzle of barbecue sauce
- 7-Alarm Fire – crushed tomato sauce, pepperoni, jalapeños, Peruvian cherry peppers, sliced banana peppers and green bell peppers on red pepper crust
- Cock-A-Doodle Bacon – garlic parmesan sauce, grilled chicken, hardwood-smoked bacon and diced Roma tomatoes on a Parmesan crust
- Pretzel Piggy – garlic parmesan sauce, bacon, mushrooms and spinach on a salted pretzel crust with balsamic drizzle
- Cherry Pepper Bombshell – crushed tomato sauce, salami, Peruvian cherry peppers and fresh spinach on Asiago crust with balsamic drizzle
- Hot and Twisted – crushed tomato sauce, salami, jalapeños and red onions on a salted pretzel crust
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill added the Farmhouse Flatbread pizza, made with butcher-chopped bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, sautéed spinach, fresh mozzarella, fonduta, and Parmesan. (184 units, HQ in Dallas, TX)
- Back by popular demand, Village Inn added Grilled Cheese Dippers back to the menu: (205 units, HQ in Denver, CO)
- Meat Lovers Big Cheese Dipper – pork carnitas, hickory-smoked bacon and shaved ham with melted American and Swiss cheese on grilled Texas Toast
- The Roadhouse Dipper – hickory smoked bacon, American cheese and one egg with country sausage gravy on grilled Texas toast, served with a cup of pork green chili
- Mimi’s Café added Bacon & Apple Waffles, made with green apples, hickory-smoked bacon and a hint of orange zest. Served with two eggs any style, fresh-cut fruit and a choice of hickory-smoked bacon, pork sausage or slow-smoked ham. (138 units, HQ in Dallas, TX)
The recently formed Global Culinary Innovators Association (GCIA) hosted their first Culinary Combine November 9-12 in Seattle, WA. The Pork Board is a founding sponsor of the group, which brings together the next 200 emerging and fastest growing chains in the USA the mission of the organization is to help the growth chains succeed by sharing experience and learning’s from the nation’s largest chains the leading experts on food and beverage trends.
The three-day inaugural GCIA Culinary Combine was a unique educational experience where key industry leaders learned, tasted, created and formed new resources for innovative menu ideas. While in Seattle, street food and hand-held items were a big theme – a cuisine where pork is a top protein!
The annual International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) Conference was held in Dallas, TX November 3 – 5, 2014. The National Pork Board met with editors, discussed editorial placements for the upcoming year, networked with other industry professionals and learned about food trends from some of the city’s best chefs.
The Conference kicked off with the Chef Showcase – a tasting reception highlighting Dallas’ top chefs. The National Pork Board sponsored Chef Michael Sindoni of CBD Provisions in Dallas. Guests enjoyed his signature Berkshire Pig Head Carnitas.
On day two Stephen Gerike of the National Pork Board partnered with Tricia Schiffmacher of Buffalo Trace bourbon to present a learning station titled Intoxicating Chops. The educational presentation explored the art and science of brining pork with inspiration from classic cocktails like the Kentucky Mule and Manhattan. Attendees tasted the benefits of the brines along with the perfect bourbon pairing.
The presentation also examined the official name updates for favorite cuts of pork. Click here for the chop cut info graphic from the presentation.
Chef Showcase – Michael Sindoni
The CIA Greystone Campus in St Helena, CA hosted the first annual reThink Food conference November 6-8. The event brought together 350 executives, thought leaders, and innovators in technology, behavior, design, and food to address current issues in food production and consumer demand.
The National Pork Board was onsite to attend and sponsor the event. During the opening session the Pork Board served Orecchiette with Pork Ragu; Pork and Pistachio Paté with crostini, cornichons, and stone ground mustard; Crispy Pork Belly with creamy potato salad, pickled mustard seeds, watercress coulis, and buttermilk.