A Foraged Dinner with Oink
I’ve been stalking Oink since I first heard about their pop-up dinners a couple of years ago. Lucky for me, Craig Hutchinson, one of the masterminds behind the brand, showed up at Weekend Kitchen for an Italian feast and I snagged the last tickets. Lots of people blab about farm-to-table, nose-to-tail, and sustainability but this guy is the real deal. As much as was feasible was foraged that day. Our salad was literally a garden, adorned with hand-picked cherry blossoms (and yes, they do taste like cherries). Okay, I was a little scared of the pigs head cappelletti, but oh, yum; a light sausage stuffed into pockets of chewy homemade pasta, bathed in a pool of fresh and light tomato sauce, and sprinkled with a Parmigiano so rare only 500 pounds are produced a year. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it just kept coming.
Next was a perfectly prepared plate of risotto, dolloped with a freshly foraged ramp foam. Now I know that my risotto (which I’m justly proud of) has far too much cheese. This one was creamy, with each grain of rice a separate, toothsome chew. Dessert? A semifreddo with crisps of pastry and crunchy sesame sweets; a deconstructed and much-improved cannoli, served with Craig’s homemade vermouth. Wow. I cannot wait for Craig and his partner, Alex Lishchynsky, to open a restaurant….in the meantime, keep a lookout for Oink pop-ups and cooking classes on their website. Or better yet, he’ll come to you and cook up a very special meal.
The Table at Weekend Kitchen
Semifreddo for dessert as a deconstructed cannoli!
photo credits: Cara Eve