Passion for Pork

Recap: Schwein & Stein at The WorkShop Eatery

Sharman - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

It’s no secret that Paul Shufelt, owner and head chef of The Workshop Eatery, has a passion for pork. For years his menu have prominently featured Alberta Pork dishes made from Irvings Farm Fresh Berkshire pigs raised at Round Hill, Alberta.

I was excited when Chef Paul suggested hosting a Swine & Dine in advance of his annual Bacon Day Dinner – an event heading into its 8th year that celebrates the mass consumption of bacon all in support of Youth Empowerment & Social Services (YESS). More on that later.

On Thursday June 22nd, 30 diners scored a seat to Schwein & Stein at The Workshop Eatery; Chef Shufelt decided to change the S&D name slightly since he wanted to pair his all Alberta Pork menu with locally Alberta-brewed beers. Since he always accommodates this gluten-free girl with Celiac-friendly dishes – I say he can do whatever he wants with the name. 

When we arrived the restaurant was in full swing with regular diners. Those of us Schwein & Dining were treated to a pre-dinner reception in the lobby with tray-passed appetizers and a glass of Blindman Brewing Lemon Lime Sour.

My favourite bite during the reception was the house-made lardo; the six-month cured slices of pork fat were melt in my mouth delicious.

Once we were seated Chef Shufelt greeted diners and explained how the restaurant uses Alan & Nicola Irvings beautiful Berkshire pork to make their own charcuterie. Chef Shufelt introduced his first dish – a pantry board featuring a pate de Champagne, calabrese sausage, fennel & orange cured filetto, pickled mustard seeds, pickled ramps, and toast. The dish was paired with People Skills from Tool Shed Brewing Company out of Calgary.

I had a chance to sneak in the kitchen to take some photos while Chef Shufelt and his crew were finishing each dish and plating.

When Chef Shufelt pulled out a tray of braised Irvings Farm pork belly it took all my might not to pluck a piece right from the pan.

Instead, I not so patiently waited for the complete dish – a five spiced portion of braised pork belly paired with butternut squash & corn hash, maple, and ancho oil – a dish Chef Shufelt paired with Bench Creek Brewing’s Naked Woodsman.

I could have been content just eating the house-made charcuterie and another piece of pork belly, but Chef Shufelt had more parts of the pig in store for us.

For our main dish, Chef Shufelt plated a classic piece of pork loin, applewood smoked with a  Tool Shed Brewing Company Red Rage apricot glaze. In addition to a glass of the braising beer, the dish was complimented with a sweet potato puree, maple-sage roasted parsnips.

Our dessert was an Ode to The King – but with a passion for pork twist. Paul’s Elvis Presley inspired dessert featured a plate of caramelized bananas, candied bacon, banana bread Ichorous Stout Ice Cream, chocolate chips, and  house-made chunky peanut butter. I thought the dish had an elevated childhood campfire feel, minus the pairing of Blindman Brewing Ichorous Imperial Stout of course. If I could have, I would have bought a jar of Workshop Eatery bacon peanut butter to take home.

At the end of the dinner Chef Shufelt thanked all that attended, and reminded us of his upcoming Bacon Day Dinner at Workshop Eatery on Saturday, September 16, 2017. The $90 ticket (all of which goes to YESS) includes a ridiculous amount of bacon and all things pork, more than a few bites from a whole pig (roasted up on the patio), and a taste and a vote in the annual Bacon Day dessert off between Chef Paul Shufelt & Chef Andrew Cowan of Northern Chicken.

Based on the peanut butter & bacon dessert Paul served up at his Schwein & Stein – I think he might already have this year’s winning dessert.

Tickets for Bacon Day 2017 are available now. I’ll be there – look for the girl in the corner eating a bowl of Paul’s bacon truffle cream corn like a pig at a trough.

The Workshop Eatery
2003 91 St SW, Edmonton, AB T6X 0W8