“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” 

And that’s what exudes from Jan Buhrman and her culinary team – passion. Nothing short of the true love for food, we attended the Pork and Knives Dinner last week, part of the Swine and Dine weekend here on Martha’s Vineyard. Catered, executed, and delivered to us by the team at the Kitchen Porch Catering and the Harbor View Resort chefs, this was a meal unlike any other.
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The ambiance was set and this would be the culmination of a weekend filled with pigs and pork. Hosted at one of the best (if not the best) hotels on Martha’s Vineyard, we dined at the Water Street Restaurant, part of the Harbor View Hotel and Resort in Edgartown.

Arriving at the Harborview at 6pm, we mingled with a few familiar and local faces, such as our friends from the Port Hunter, and got to meet some new foodies as well. But enough about the people we are here to talk about the food!

A little background on Jan Burhman and why the pigs. She’s been the island’s go-to caterer since 1985, where she creates menus for everything from summer BBQs to fine dining events; at the Kitchen Porch, you’ll also be able to receive culinary classes (I’m eyeing the Easy Holiday Entertaining this December). During her catering orders, Jan realized all the food that was going to waste and had the marvelous idea to start raising pigs. Waste food would feed the pigs, and in turn, the pigs would feed us. Genius right?!

1st Course (Amuse Bouche): Blood Sausage
The first event of this weekend was a slaughtering of four pigs lead by Master Salumi Artisan and expert Francois Vecchio and students had a chance to learn how to bleed, gut, and process the animals. This is were blood sausage comes into play as our amuse bouche. Blood is typically seen as a waste, but combined with a few spices and made into sausage, the blood is saved and transformed into an unctuous delicacy. Using Jan’s special ras el hanout spice mix, it was the perfect start to our meal with notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.
2nd Course: Crepinette, Foie en Mousse, Boudin Blanc & Coppa di Testa, Mostarda with Grilled Ciabatta – Paired with either a Gisselbrecht, Gewurztraminer or a Guiness Pub Draft
A full charcuterie platter, this was a delight to explore. Our favorite was the Boudin Blanc, delicate in flavor and color, it stood out from the crowd of meats.
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3rd Course: Capesante e Lardo Mantecato – Locally foraged bay scallops roasted in shell with whipped lardo, parsley & rosemary – Paired with either a J.Scott Cellars Rousanne or a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale
The Vineyard is known for its bay scallops and these were perfectly cooked. Whipped lard was placed on the raw scallops and then briefly thrown in the broiler to melt and cook the scallops in fat. The result? A sweet morsel of the sea drenched in the earthy fat. Creativity was displayed in the plating of this course, setting the scallops on wood chips, coarse salt, and peppercorns, engaging the senses even more.
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4th Course: Farrotto & Salsicca Fresca – Farro cooked with onions and pecorino, fresh herbs and local pork sausage. Paired with either a Campo Viejo Rioja, Reserva or a Mayflower Porter
Hands down my favorite dish of the entire meal and the first time I’ve ever had farro. It’s on my to do list to email Jan and ask for this recipe! Farro, cooked down with onions and pecorino in a risotto style with herbs and sausage made from scraps of the weekend. Another great display of “waste nothing”, the farro was meaty in texture and flavor, but oh so good. My mouth waters just writing about it. I promise to be back with this recipe for you guys.
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5th Course: Porchetta Toscano with Local Roasted Squash & Arugula. Paired with either an Allegrini, Veronese, Palazzo della Torre or Smuttynose Brown Dog Ale
Wrap a pork tenderloin in the belly and you’ve won me over. This dish was simply plated by topping the porchetta with a slice of local roasted squash, sweet and earthy. A crisp and bitter salad of arugula and topped with cracklings (which is not pictured because I ate mine as soon as the plate was set down), it was a course were we really enjoyed the flavor in the fat of the pig. Fat IS flavor, so don’t be afraid of it!
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6th Course: Torta di Mandorla – Pine Nut, Rosemary and Caramel. Paired with a Chateau Bel Air, Blanc, Sainte-Croix du Mont
A truly rustic ending to this meal, a thin torta of pine nuts and caramel, delicately spiced with rosemary was the culmination of this night. The tart crust was obviously made from the lard of the slaughtered pigs, giving the dessert a savory note that paired well with the herb in the caramel. Served alongside a lemon sorbet/sherbet, it cleanses the palate wonderfully.
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Craving more information? Be sure to check out the links below:
Visit Martha’s Vineyard and stay at The Harbor View Hotel & Resort
Learn more about Francois Vecchio 
Disclosure: Thank you to our generous friends at the Harbor View Resort and The Kitchen Porch for the invitation to this event.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    omg! this looks amazing, the scallops, the farro yum!