Matty Matheson and Derek Dammann at the Hogtown Throwdown (Image: Renée Suen)
What do you get when you give eight chefs a Perth Pork pig, some beer and wine and an open-air venue to host an event? A throwdown, naturally. Tuesday night,
The Group of 7 Chefs—Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Chef), Chris Brown (The Stop), Mark Cutrara (Cowbell), Marc Dufour (Earth), Kevin McKenna (Globe and Earth), Matty Matheson (Parts and Labour) and Scott Vivian ( Beast), sans regular Nick Liu (Gwailo)—were joined by “Deadly” Derek Dammann, until recently of Montreal’s DNA, at the Evergreen Brick Works’ Chimney Court to pack eight solid punches of swine-based plates. The chefs and guests, including Jeff Crump (Ancaster Mill), Tobey Nemeth (Edulis) and Ivy Knight (Swallow Foods), braved the sweltering heat to raise funds for the group’s trip to New York’s prestigious James Beard House in September (only a handful of Canadians have been extended the invitation to host a dinner there). Hungry Hogtown guests dined al fresco, washing the inventive porcine dishes (including a ) down with wines from pig’s head ramen Cave Springs, Fielding Estate and Hinterland and beers from Kronenbourg 1664. In the end, no throwdown winner was announced, it being generally accepted that the heat pretty much knocked everyone out. Check out our slideshow of the whole piggy affair »
Dammann’s second dish: pork loin topped with a tonnato-like sauce that used smoked mackerel and herbs plucked from the Chimney Court garden
Dammann setting up for his second pork-tastic dish: a pork loin that was cooked in the Chimney Court’s wood burning oven
Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Chef) with his girlfriend who assisted him on the hot day
Alépée’s pulled pork biscuit featured shredded pork smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce stuffed inside a warm and fluffy homemade green onion biscuit
The Iron Chef Uptown 21 trophy that both Alépée and Brown won last week in a weekly competition that pitted chefs from London, Toronto and Stratford against each other to raise money for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region
Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Chef) preparing his Tamworth pulled pork biscuit
McKenna’s schnitzel on pork crackling
McKenna made a pork leg schnitzel with rhubarb relish, fresh pea salad and black walnuts. Early diners received their schnitzels on red cabbage leaves; later diners got them on pork crackling.
Kevin McKenna (Globe and Earth) made a pork leg schnitzel with a rhubarb relish, fresh pea salad and black walnuts. Early diners received their schnitzels on red cabbage leaves; later diners got them on pork crackling.
Jeff Crump (Ancaster Mill, Cambridge Mill, Earth to Table Bread Bar, Spencer’s at the Waterfront) met John Placko (John Placko Culinary Consulting) for the first time at the Hogtown Throwdon after being Twitter buddies for years.
Cutrara made a Berkshire pork loin that was similar to kielbasa (not smoked, and made with fennel and orange) topped with a mini panzanella salad. The pork loin was cured for three days before being processed the day before the event
Mark Cutrara (Cowbell) had a stunning organic display that housed his pork loin offering
Rebecca LeHeup of Ontario Culinary Tourism, Andrew Hunter (Buddha Dog) and Ivy Knight (Swallow); Bettina Schormann (Earth to Table Bread Bar) is caught in the background.
Vivian’s scrapple mixed pork scraps and trimmings from the pig with cornmeal and spices, packed. This was left to set, then pan fried in pork fat. The crispy loaf was served with a tonnato sauce (using albacore tuna that had been poached in pork fat) and drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar
Vivian’s stove set up for the evening. Notice the pork loaf on pork fat action
Scott Vivian (Beast) chooses to hide in Chris Brown’s (The Stop) shadow as Brown stays, um, hydrated
Brown’s spin on a Caesar salad featuring porchetta, testina and bacon bits on grilled baguette then topped with grilled romaine lettuce and aioli
Chris Brown (The Stop) and Scott Vivian (Beast).
Matheson’s roasted pig’s head ramen using egg noodles, his five-day old broth, nori, pickled eggs and cucumbers, scallions and pork rind (by request)
Leftovers from Matheson’s roasted pig’s head ramen dish
The roasted pig’s head used in Matheson’s ramen dish
Matheson’s ramen broth was prepared with pork, chicken and kombu, and simmered for five days before being served
Matty Matheson (Parts and Labour) made a roasted pig’s head ramen that was served with pickled eggs, cucumber, nori and a broth was cooked for five days
The trio that provided the evening’s entertainment
Dufour’s seared pork loin that’s been braised in white honey with pink peppercorns and served on a chickpea fritter made with chickpea masa flour. The dish was served with asparagus, smoked maldon salt and sour cream
Marc Dufour (Earth) prepared a composed plate featuring white honey–braised seared pork loin on a chickpea fritter
Dammann’s pork belly dish was served with a strawberry mustard, which had a surprising kick that just hits you at the tail end
Dammann’s pork belly dish was fried in pork fat that was cold smoked with maplewood chips
Derek Dammann (ex-DNA) was in from Montreal to participate in the event and served two dishes
Tobey Nemeth (Edulis), recently back in Toronto, with friend Sasha Douglas.
Vicki Samaras (Hinterland) served her Prince Edward County winery’s sparkling Whitecap 2011.
Evergreen Brick Works’ Chimney Court is part garden, part playground and altogether a beautiful space to host an open air event.