by Cat Wheeler
Bringing Home the Bacon – Charcuterie from Local Pork
Executive Chef Eelke Plasmeijer of Alila Ubud’s Plantation Restaurant is becoming famous on the island for his outstanding pork dishes. True to Slow Food’s philosophy, he sources pigs raised near Ubud which are fed rice bran, banana trunks, greens and sweet potatoes instead of commercial feed which contains antibiotics.The demonstration takes place in the resort’s lush tropical garden against a backdrop jungle and coconut palms. Guests enjoy superb local coffee and pastries of seasonal fruit before the event begins. Eelke and Sous Chef Ray bring out the star — half of a very fresh pig. In the butchering session, guests learn how to break down the carcass into leg, shoulder, belly, loin and racks and make prosciutto, bacon and lardo.
Then a hands-on demonstration introduces guests into the fascinating art of preparing fresh and dry-cured sausages, pates and other popular charcuterie as well as appropriate pickles and chutneys — all from local ingredients, of course. Chef Eelke has developed his own recipes for all of these dishes, these are generously shared with the guests.
By now the sun is high in the sky, and the Chefs lead the hungry guests to the Plantation Restaurant where a long table has been set. Over the next two hours the chefs present course after course of delicious pork dishes — 15 courses in all — while the guests (forgive me) pork out in delight.
Slow Food Bali presented this highly popular event three times in 2012 with Alila Ubud Resort. Chef Eelke promises us more opportunities to make pigs of ourselves in 2013.
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