Cia Bernales and lardo.
Here's some photos from my trip to New York. I had some very positive and productive interactions with people.
That photo is from DeBragga's dinner - the New York debut of our Mangalitsa pork. The Wall St. Journal wrote about it here, and issued this correction here. As I said at the dinner:
"This is the beginning of a lard-type pork revolution..."
Tom Colicchio is a famous New York chef. A lot of people know him as the head judge on the show Top Chef. He's also the owner of Craft, a group of restaurants focused on top-quality ingredients.
Tom Colicchio's finger, Wooly Pigs logo.
Next is a photo of me with Paul Liebrandt, Chef at Corton.
I was happy to find out that Chef Liebrandt has been using our product for weeks. He likes it. He offered some constructive criticism of our product, in a very nice way. He's the sort of customer I love to have; he's the guy that helps us to improve things.
According to the Michelin guide, Corton is one of the top 11 restaurants in the NYC area. Corton has two Michelin stars, making it our highest Michelin-rated regular customer.
April Bloomfield, of The Breslin and The Spotted Pig was there, but I didn't get any photos of us. I talked with her at length about our product. She's used it a little bit, as mentioned in this important New York Times article.
Finally, here's a picture of Cia Bernales, food blogger, happy to receive some complimentary lardo:
I had a lot of fun talking to her. She's traveled a lot and eaten a lot of good food. It is great to meet people who are enthusiastic about good food. Without them, this whole project would be demoralizing day after day.
She's holding stuff from the first batch. I also sampled some of that batch to Kavin Du, a serious chef (non-professional) and Mangalitsa fan.
Kavin (and George Faison at DeBragga) provided some useful feedback, which we'll use to modify our process, hopefully making our lardo a better product. When you've got smart people who notice thing about food making the same criticisms, you ignore them at your own peril.
As previously mentioned, based on what I saw last week, top chefs all over New York will be making their lardo from our pigs, starting this week. That means it will hit the tables in 4 weeks or so.
I'm guessing it will take another 2 months for the press to notice and start writing about how amazing Mangalitsa lardo is, making it a food trend, like real pretzels.
It is going to be very fun watching this whole process unfold.