The Pebble Beach Food and Wine Event is a culinary playground full of folks that love to cook and eat. During the hours of prep, service, clean up, and after parties stories of favorite meals, and fantastic ingredients are shared. This year we had the pleasure of dining with Nate Weaton, President of Vande Rose Farms of Iowa at the Montrio Bistro in Monterey.
As fate would have it that night the special was a frenched 10 oz Vande Rose Farms 100% Duroc Pork Chop with roasted yams, pea sprouts, Vande Rose bacon and cider gastrique.
A discussion began over a pork chop that night that led to a product cutting May 18th at the US Foodservice San Francisco offices with the center of the plate team headed by Brian Meier, Jack Hart, Jordan Chauss, and Ed Rassmussen. Nate Weaton, Steve De Bruin (4th generation family farmer and the DE of Vande Rose) were present, along with two US Foodservice customers Chef's Tony Baker and Kirk Larsen. Various products were prepped, cooked and sampled with rave reviews.
Vande Rose Farms Honey Cured Ham
The Artisan line of pork products was very well recieved. Using the premium duroc product with recipes created for Vande Rose by America's premier sausage maker, Bruce Aidell was genius. The flavor of the ham and bacon was incredibly clean, the first taste was not salt, like you come to expect with much of the mass produced product available. Rather the light seasonings accentuated the applewood smoked pork. Without a water/salt/brine injection the meat was not a washed out gummy pink but a distinguishable whole muscle product with a great bite.
With some work on the logistics side this is a product line that may be available through US Foodservice San Francisco in the coming months, as an addition to their already selection of fantastic ingredients.
Vande Rose Farms was founded in 1998 by three families. The Van Gilst, De Bruin and Rozenboom families first came to America in the 19th century.
Cleaning The Bones Of The 10 Bone Vande Rose Farms Pork Rack
They settled in Mahaska County, Iowa to work the fertile soil and raise their children on the rolling landscape. They shared a passion for agriculture and achievment on their family farms.
They chose a special breed of pig, called Duroc, which is a pig known for its juicy and flavorful meat. Duroc is a heritage breed dating back to 1830, that produces pork that has a higher moisture content and higher pH than typical retail pork, excellent marbling and a darker color. Sensory testing at Iowa State University shows higher pH products are more tender, juicy and flavorful. . All of their sires are 100% Duroc. The mothers of their pigs are productive white breeds, selected for their meat quality. The result being, it just plain tastes better. Detailed records of genetics, weight, feed and life history are kept for each animal.
Chef Tony Removes The Chine Bone From The Pork Rack
Evidence shows that the quality of the pork and the wholesome farming practices represents a clear difference between Vande Rose Farms Premium Duroc Pork and commodity pork being widely marketed.
Modern advances in pork production have created a number of headlines in recent years and consumers are rightly concerned about the negative impact certain practices have on the wellbeing of the animals, the environment and the people who work here and live nearby.
Preparing For The Product Cutting With Nate Weaton, President Of Vande Rose Farms In The Background
At Vande Rose Farms, they’ve stood firmly against many of the temptations that drive the industry today. In sharp contrast, they are a sustainable farm that goes to great lengths to do things the right way, assuring the resources they have been given remain for generations to come.
Steamship Leg Of Pork Rests Under The Heat Lamp
Farm technology has changed over the last century, but not everything new is better. they use technology where it makes sense, but clearly avoid it when it is going to hurt the environment, the animals or alter the natural quality of their pork. They were among the first to get hogs out of the filth and mud and into comfortable environmentally controlled facilities.
Bacon, Bellys, Loins, And Butts On Display At US Foodservice San Francisco
Their hogs are housed in a setting that ensures good health and quality growth, but they don't create a situation where the quality of our life or the wellbeing of our animals is compromised.
Chef Kirk Larsen Checks The 10/12 Count Bacon
Their hogs receive a rich diet of natural grains grown right here on our land, with absolutely no added growth promotants or antibiotics.
Great meals start with great ingredients and the Vande Rose Farms Artisian bacons and hams are no exception. Much of the bacon and ham produced these days is needled and injected with a "cure" that flavors and adds weight to finished product.
Vande Rose Farms Artisian Ham
After needling the bellies are usually tumbled and smoked within 24 hours. At Vande Rose Farms their Artisian products are process with a traditional style. They brine and cure their hams and bellies for as long as a week and then they slow smoke them over real applewood to seal in that amazing taste. No water is added so the ham and thick-sliced bacon retain a dense, meaty texture and maximum flavor.