Take yourself back to the days of the traditional village feast with a five-course food journey that will feature every part of the pig, created by Pony Dining Head Chef Damien Draper.
When Damien says every part of the pig will be used, he means it, with pigs ears, head, mid-section, rump and tail, belly and shoulder all on the menu.
The dinners, on August 26 and 27, are part of Pony Dining’s ‘Ask The Chef’ series.
Inspired by nose-to-tail advocate, English chef Fergus Henderson, Draper has a passion for showcasing natural flavours rather than ‘jazz-handing’ dishes. Expect elegant, yet rustic pork with simple shared flavours created using a combination of coal pit, smoking and long cooks. Dishes include canapes of pork skin with fennel salt and crisp ears in volcanic black salt, pigs pork cheek brioche with rhubarb, pigs head terrine coupled with guaincale, prosciutto, lonza and flat bread and pickled tongue with wasabi, radish and yuzu.
There’s even a touch of pork in the dessert with Pony’s pork fat apple pie with crackle and salted white chocolate ice cream, buttered pork popcorn with celery salt and mock pork macaroon with white chocolate.
“We butcher an entire pig and try to ensure that our meals are highly justified,” he says.
I asked Damien a few porky questions.
Is pork your favourite meat?
Pork is my favourite because the options are endless when cooking with pork. All parts of the animal can be used, which I love.
Not wasting anything? Surely there is something left over?
When braising the head the skull is left over but I am sure there would be a use for it!
What is your favourite pork cut?
I love belly. It’s unbelievably easy to cook and lends itself to so many different flavour combinations and cooking techniques.
Where did the recipes for the feast come from?
I took some inspiration from Frank Camorra and Fergus Henderson. Both chefs use the nose-to-tail concept in their restaurants. The concept is my culinary mantra and then I let local flavours rule.
How many pigs will you use?
I believe I’ll be using around about 4 whole pigs!
You’ll find Pony Dining Brisbane on the upper level of Eagle Street Pier. The dinner costs $145 per person.