Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vignola Whole Hog Dinner

This is my next to the last post before I'm off to Europe, where I hope to post regularly about anything that catches my eye. I'm sure there will be food involved somehow. I have a lead on a restaurant kitchen in Paris and hoping to do more in Prague and Budapest. 

But for today it's back to Vignola for their Whole Hog Dinner, which happened on the 18th ( I've been a little lazy in editing the pictures ).  It all started earlier in the month when I received a call from Chris (one of the chefs at Vignola) asking if I wanted to stop by and shoot the dinner. I replied yes, but I also was interested in how they prepared the pig and could I be there for that as well. So the following week I stopped by one afternoon to watch Chris butcher one of the animals that the Vignola/ Cinque Terre kitchens get from a Vermont farm on a regular basis. When I arrived the two halves of the pig were already laid out on a table in the basement cutting room.
Now in addition to the different parts of the animal that they prepare on site the day of the dinner, they bring in  specialty items as well.

The big day arrives and the ovens are full and prep work needs to be done.
The staff needs to know what their serving and how to answer question about cooking and sauces. What better way then to taste it all!
The printed menu runs to 26 items: 
1 Amuse
9 Antipasti
3 Paste
8 Mains
4 Contorni
I thought it was very interesting that the kitchen would freelance off the printed menu at times to satisfy various patrons pallets, bringing a different sauce to an antipasti or main adding greens to a course and putting portions of several plates together on the fly. The whole was rather overwhelming and I would guess their might have been an huge for salad for the next few days by some customers. From the number of dinners that came to the kitchen window with rave comments it seems to have been a huge success! I got to see it all and taste some as well, the crowd was large and continued to come in for dinner paste 10:00. For those of you who want more go here. Look on the right for the Vignola Whole Hog Dinner set.

As I mentioned above my wife and I are going on a little vacation work trip to Europe. I booked my last hotel just this morning.  Dog sitter is in place. Euros arrived and only a few details remain to be ironed out!

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