Jamie Dunn, owner of the Gilt Club in NW Portland, and Chef Chris Carriker decided to throw one hell of a party, and somehow, against all logic, I managed to get invited. This thing was delightfully insane - course after course of wild boar, served family style to some of the best chefs and bloggers in Portland, as I happily snap pictures of every crazy, over-the-top, pork-fueled minute of it. Chef Chris brought in a whole wild boar, butchered it, and utilized every little bit to make an amazing, if heart-stopping, meal, from charcuterie to liver creme caramel.
It was a delight to spend a bit of time with the fantastic Erin DeJesus, editor of Eater PDX, finally meet the infamous Byron Beck, share some jokes with Elizabeth Fuss of Lizzy Dishes Portland, and joke about canning, pregnancy and pickles with the stunning Lucy Burningham. Not to mention all of the chefs and owners of some of my favorite restaurants, sitting around, stuffing down an entire wild boar with plenty of good wine and great cocktails. This was seriously a marathon of pork. Erin and I stumbled out of Gilt around one in the morning, hearts pumping a little harder to handle all the meat and fat and... oh man. I'm sorry. It was great, and Chef Chris DID warn us that we'd likely be needing a wheelchair to leave the table, but woah. Too much pork.
Here's the menu, not including a few little impromptu bits and pieces Chef Chris whipped up on the spot, or, you know, over 19 hours in a sous vide...
Charcuterie PlateEnjoy the photos, friends, and be sure to stop by Gilt Club for happy hour or dinner. They've got a striking cocktail list and a chef and owner with great senses of humor who really know what they're doing. And yes, that's a photo of the boars' skulls, the guests of honor at our dinner - Starvin' Marvin and Sir Francis Bacon. Marvin got to come home with me and is now my trophy, sitting on the shelf directly above my desk in the office. Awesome door prize, if you ask me. And if you factor in that a few of us managed to stay until the last course and finish the liver dessert, I'd say I earned it.
Wild Boar Rillette with orange and mustard seed marmalade
Wild Boar Ham smoked in cherry wood with green tomato jam
Wild Boar Terrine with cured jowl, pistachios and wrapped in house cured bacon
Wlid Boar Mazzafegati with dried blueberries and pinenuts
Wild Boar Head Mortadella with a duo of mustards
Wild Boar Sweetbread and Foie Terrine
The star of the night, according to yours truly: Foie Gras-stuffed Wild Boar foot with wild boar trotter meat, porcini mushrooms and a foie gras-crimini rosemary mushroom sauce. (Dear Chef Chris: This is a keeper. Don't listen to Byron Beck, let's bring Pig Foot to the masses.)
Creative growers lettuce with grated eggs, radishes, cornichons, fried wild boar fromage de tete (yes, that's headcheese) and fried Wild Boar ear with mustard tarragon vinaigrette
Wild Boar sugo over house made gnocchi with squash blossoms, chanterelles, bitter greens, and parmesan
Roasted Wild Boar loin with poncha bean succotash with corn, bacon, onions, and herbs
“Chicken Fried Wild Boar” - Boar tenderloin wrapped in chicken skin, with pickled peach puree and foie gras mousse
Liver crème caramel with coastal huckleberries, wild Italian plums, and figs (Dear Chef Chris... maybe let's not try to bring this one to the masses...)