A Girl & Her Food: Food Network in Concert at Ravinia Around the World Dinner presented by The National Pork Board #PorkBucketList


Food Network in Concert at Ravinia Around the World Dinner presented by The National Pork Board #PorkBucketList

The biggest names in food and music united for the first ever Food Network in Concert at Ravinia, presented by ThankYou from Citi, which benefited Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America. 

The National Pork Board invited me  to the Around the World Dinner hosted by Iron Chef Jose Garces.  The pork-led culinary adventure, Around the World in four courses, was led by four chefs who each prepared a course inspired by a different region of the globe.  Terlato wines paired cocktails and wine and live music from Season 6winner of The Voice, Josh Kaufman

I was seated at Chef Jose Garces table with Chef Wylie Defresne and his wife Maile Carpenter, the editor-in-chef of Food Network Magazine,  grabbed my pork passport and began my pork led journey. 

Chef Wylie Defrense and I 

 Jimmy Banno's Jr of The Purple Pig 

Destination: ITALY

Italian cuisine relies heavily on the quality of the ingredients. While pasta, cheese and tomatoes may come to mind first when thinking about Italy's gourmet delicacies, pork is actually a mainstay to many Italian dishes. It's versatility makes it easy to incorporate in a variety of Italian plates-from Porchetta and salumi to milk-braised pork shoulder, the options for pairing are endless

What's on your #porkbucketlist? 
I want to play around with the Southern Italian tradition of combing blood and chocolate!
-Jimmy Bannos, Jr. 

House made 'nduja and giardiniera crostini 
Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco 

Tim Graham of Travelle

Destination: AFRICA 

African cuisine blends the traditions of many cultures-each region having a different influence. Dishes are characterized by an abundant use of spices, including cumin, saffron and ginger, which are often paired with pork. Traditionally, regional cuisines reflect a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables as well. 

Piri-Piri Pork Chop 
with tomato and chickpea salad 
Lapostolle CuvĂ©e Alexandre Chardonay 

What's on your #porkbucketlist?
What can't you do with pork cheeks? One thing on my #porkbucketlist I can't wait to check off is to cook pork cheeks all different ways-in a breakfast hash, fried like osiers in a po'boy, and just straight braised on top of polenta. Cheeks are delicious because they are a muscle that consistently moves, which fives them a great deal of flavor. 
-tim graham

Chefs Beth Patridge & Dan Pancake of Autre Monde Cafe

Destination: The Mediterranean
Mediterranean dishes have a deep flavor achieved by the simple preparation of ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans, olive oil and spices. Authentic Mediterranean dining, which is often done over pintos like tonight's pork pintos with apple and cannelloni bean puree, is ad much about the social experience as it is the food. 

Basque Style Pork Pintxos 
braised belly and shoulder, smoked pimento, salsa verde 
Loveblock Pinot Noir

What's on your #porkbucketlist?
One thing we've crossed off our #porkbucketlist is recreating a Spanish Style Whole Sucking Pig, slow roasted over grapevines, we first  had when we were living on the Costa Brava in Spain. We feel in love with that way of roasting a pig over open flame. 
-beth patridge and dan pancake

Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia

Destination: ASIA

Pork's versatility and great taste make it a perfect partner for Asain flavors. From pork belly to boo chou and sitrfry, adding Asian influences to a pork dish brings out its taste in more savory ways-pure umami! 

Pork Cheeks
Hoisin Braised Pork with Grilled Watermelon and Shishito Peppers
The Federalist Zinfandel

What's on your #porkbucketlist?
I can't wait to go back to Spain and try as many Jamon ( back leg ham) and Paleta Iberico de Bellota (shoulder ham) as possible for my #porkbucketlist. 
-andrew zimmerman