This is a guest post from member chef Ron Miller of Hukilau Lanai
As the executive chef and owner of Hukilau Lanai, a restaurant on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, I recently had an amazing experience that I would like to share.
In January, we hosted a three day Artisan Charcuterie and pig butchering seminar called The Pig Gig under the direction of Francois Vecchio. Francois published the book, Charcutier. Salumiere. Wurstmeister, as well as a DVD, which demonstrates the European method of pig butchery. The book is philosophy, history and technique of this ancient craft. He is 77 years young with an amazing spirit.
The seminar began Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and the students were chefs, hunters and pig enthusiasts.
In three days we butchered three pigs (one wild and two raised on Kauai) and made no less than 19 products, including cured meats, salumi, fresh sausages, pate, and so much more. Francois began with a discussion of the science behind the art and followed with a butchery demonstration, that’s when the students jumped in to tackle the remaining animals.
In addition to the butchery, day one included offal recipes. Day two began with a lesson in making fresh sausage and pate, and we all picked a recipe from his book to prepare. We also started dry cured meats and salami. On the third day, we put the salami into casings and gathered any remaining product for one final batch of breakfast sausage. Afterward, we sat at a long table with wine and beer, and celebrated Francois as we feasted on what we made.
Since his three year apprentice ship in Geneva that started in 1958, Francois has held many significant positions (for more information visitfrancoisvecchio.com). He is over-the-top passionate about quality meat products. His next seminar is in Palmer AK beginning March 30. It is a week long with participants from all over the country…
Here are some of the delicious results, from Hukilau’s menu: