From the Press Advisory:
OCI interviewing Red Wattle piglettes
True to Oregon Culinary Institute’s (OCI) “hands-on” teaching philosophy,the school’s current generation of students is learning about food from the source through what has affectionately been dubbed “the pig project.” On Tuesday, November 9 and Wednesday, November 10, the project will culminate with five-course dinner fundraisers for Chef’s Collaborative and the Ecotrust “Farm to
School” program, respectively. Both events will be at 7 p.m. at OCI, located at 1701 SW Jefferson. Tickets are $75 per dinner – call 503-961-6205 or sign up online at oregonculinaryinstitute.com (look under “weekend classes”).
In May, OCI purchased three Red Wattle hogs from Heritage Farms Northwest in Dallas, Ore.
Two of the pigs are being pen raised at Sweetbriar Farms in Eugene, Ore., and the other is being pasture
raised at Heritage Farms Northwest. All OCI culinary students were invited to participate in the project.
“Students who are participating in this school project are doing so on a voluntary basis, but we are making it worth their while,” said OCI Executive Chef and Director of Education Brian Wilke. “From an educational perspective, we are covering issues of sustainability, farms and food production, food ethics, and, of course, flavor.” OCI Chef Instructor Josh Blythe and a crew of students will prepare four courses for each dinner, with each dish featuring side-by-side comparisons of the pasture and pen raised pork. OCI Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor Salvatore Hall and his students will prepare the dessert course.
Each menu item will be specifically tailored to the beverages being served that night. The “Suds & Swine” fundraiser for Chef’s Collaborative on November 9 is in collaboration with Upright Brewing, and the
November 10 “Swine & Wine” for Ecotrust’s “Farm to School” program is in collaboration with Chehalem Winery. Wealth Underground Farm, an organic CSA farm located on Newberry Rd. off Skyline Blvd. in Portland, is providing accompanying produce for both events.
“We are excited to give industry professionals and food enthusiasts the opportunity to taste various pork dishes, side-by-side, from pigs that are genetically almost identical, but raised and fed very differently,” “We believe our students approach food with much more respect when they understand what is involved in its production,” added Dan Brophy, OCI lead instructor. “Not only does it make sense to use fresher ingredients for better flavor, but it’s also important to preserve our agricultural heritage by supporting local farms.”
To view an article the pig project in depth, go here.
Thanks to OCI for thinking of us, and for breaking new ground with food sustainability exploration in the classroom!