I enjoy how perseverance pays off. It looks like I have found an ethically raised PORK source here in Northern California. For me, sourcing ethically raised pork locally was a challenge. The pork industry is pretty well controlled by its dominant owner. This dominant player, in my opinion, is spinning outdoor breeds of pigs as "natural", but their practices have not changed. It is more than promoting a breed that can survive the open pasture, it is letting them out into the pasture. It is giving them a stress-free death.
This ranch feeds their cross Yorkshire and Duroc breed a GMO-free, all-vegetarian diet. The majority of this diet comes from the legumes they also grow and sell from the same ranch (incidentally we are adding these as well). The pigs have continual access to the air pastures for all of their life. They are not fed hormones or antibiotics and experience a humane death. The product is absolutely delicious.
As I work with the ranch, it will undoubtedly bring changes to the menu. The ranch and I see eye-to-eye on a whole-hog holistic approach to cultivation. I am hopeful clients are interested in some whole or half hog preparations like you would find in the Carolinas. The chops are too tender and tasty to not be shared. The belly will directly replace our current source for making Sorghum bacon. The shoulders will also replace our current source for pulled pork. I gotta say I am inspired to go make some hams again. Keep checking in. As the menu changes, I will post up changes here.
Chris Black is described as a "very good cook" by his 7 year old son and that is all that really matters to him. Family opinions aside, Chris pursues bringing as many forms of Southern USA cuisine to San Francisco and enjoys every moment of it.