There were many phone calls and question and answer 'deliberations' between Chef K and Heath Putnam at Wooly Pigs before we received a small shipment of Berkshire pork belly and other goodies to use for the Rising Star event. A big thanks to Heath for organizing his slaughter and sourcing alternative methods of delivery for us. Read about the transaction and a link to LTL shipping from Heath's side along with another link to feeds low in polyunsaturated fats right here.
As a note to Mr. Putnam... the response and guest reactions to the pork were extraordinary. At events such as this, the distance between chef and guest is greatly shortened. The chef dishes up a small sample plate, hands it to the guest who eats it usually standing immediately before him, and gets immediate feedback. The other big plus is to watch the diner's facial reactions during the first bite. That way you can immediately tell if they truly enjoyed it or detested it or were unmoved. The verdict... people in South Florida were entranced by the quality of the pork. It is a natural tendency for people to avoid extra fatty pieces of meat when placed before them. There were quite a few guests that needed some convincing to not turn down the plates that had belly consisting of 50% or more of pure fat. I explained the sweet nutty flavor that was so much more imbedded into the fatty portion than in the meat protein. The reaction after tasting was almost 100% wow! (except for that one strange lady at the end whom we think was already full on more than just what the chefs were offering) The fattiness (especially after the long braising time) began to melt and transform into pure flavor as soon as it was put in the mouth. I noticed that the preserved key lime we used in the braising perfectly balanced the sweet nutty tones in the pork. The American population is definitely not used to eating pork of this quality. We have not yet had a chance to 'sample' the other cuts you threw in the basket for us, but I promise that they will be utilized soon. There were also a few of the other chefs there who were previously unfamiliar with your pigs... hopefully we persuaded a couple.
Thanks, Heath... for helping us to look good... you are the Vidal Sassoon of pork.