September 10th 2011, on Governor's Island just a bit off the coast of Manhattan, a group of 20 New York chefs showed event attendees just what they could do with 80 pigs. This was the second year for the collective feast known as Pig Island. Downtown Manhattan - where we boarded the Governor's Island ferry - must have been the safest spot in the universe that day. The was a huge police presence guarding against a whispered, but reliable terrorist threat on the day before the ceremonies commemorating the 10th anniversary attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center .
The public was urged to carry on. And carry on they did. After debarking we walked over to the lawn at Colonial Row where tents and grills were set up for each participating restaurant/chef. I must admit that I have a kind of ambiguous feeling about eating so much meat. I'm not a vegetarian but I do have many mental discussions about animal rights. I was assured by the event's organizers that the pigs used for the occasion led good lives in upstate New York before they were slaughtered for food.
We were greeted by this as we entered. Kind of a Renaissance Fair atmosphere. Don't you agree?
Judging by the size of the crowd (chief organizer, Jimmy Carbone guessed that at least 1,500 people came to Pig Island) who had gathered to sample the offered wares, ambiguous thoughts did not enter most participants minds.
I don't believe they were disappointed with the generous portions of food that each vendor dished out.
Print served mini maple bacon sticky buns.
The delicious slow roasted pork terrine with French bean salad and mustard vinaigrette was made by chef Eduard Frauneder of Edi and the Wolf.
The green chorizo on the grill, from Hecho en Dumbo, gets it color from the addition of cilantro, parsley, poblanos and Swiss chard to pork. The restaurant's booth had the longest line of all the others.
The maple bacon custard with pork belly brittle and French toast from Mary Queen of Scots pastry chef, Ryan Butler, was my favorite dish of the event. I have a BIG sweet tooth - that may be the reason.
and sooooooooooo much more.
Get yourself on the Pig Island mailing list for details about next year's event.
SUSANSIMONSAYS: A large number of upstate New York farmers were devastated by the punishing floods perpetuated by hurricane Irene. 80% of the organic farmers will probably loose their certification - the result of the rich soil washing away. It takes four years to rebuild the organic soil, plus untold expenses to become certified again. GrowNYC has set up links to events that have been organized to benefit New York farmers. Or, you can make a donation directly through their site. It would be a mitzvah (a blessing). Think about it. Thanks.