Recap: Swine & Dine at The Common
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, The Common played host to the first Swine and Dine of 2017. For the third year in a row, Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier has enticed diners with an all Alberta Pork menu from appetizer to dessert in January – and always at an incredible holiday hangover price.
This year, chef Morrison-Gauthier offered up a four-course menu for $30. Within days of announcing the menu, and opening up after a well deserved week off for staff the first week of January, the event at the Common was booked solid.
The first dish of the evening had a few people at my table cringing at the thought of eating off-cuts, but the pork tongue and cheek tacos, made with bacon fat tortillas with lime, cilantro, and pickled onions, were tender and full of flavour. Swine & Dine is an opportunity for chefs to get creative, and I so happy to see Jesse using a couple of alternative cuts of meat to create hand-held appetizers.
The second course of the evening was my favourite. The smoked pear & pork sausage salad was like comfort food to this Ukrainian girl. Savoury sausages paired with creamy braised cabbage, pickled turnip, and date paste – the sweet and savoury dish was a departure from a traditional salad course (which I would happily order again).
For our third dish, chef Morrison-Gauthier served up a crispy pork shoulder on sticky rice. Even though I knew the cut was a shoulder, the cubes of pork were reminicient of Chinese restaurant dry ribs. However, one bite and the crunchy exterior melted away to tender pieces of pork shoulder (and free of any dry rib bones). Chef served the pork atop a bowl of congee, accented by black garlic caramel, crispy shallots, and black vinegar.
For dessert – chef served a pork crackling pavlova. The meringue nests were filled with lemon gel, a bite or two of cracking, and accompanied by a berry compote and bacon fat anise syrup. I appreciated the light and airy dessert following the hearty bowl we had for our third course – a little bite of sweet and savoury to finish off another great Swine & Dine at The Common.
This year, Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier served up a variety of flavours from around the world on his four-course menu. Of the three Swine & Dines at The Common – this menu was my favourite. Thank you again to Chef Jesse, his culinary staff, and all the front of house staff who helped serve up over 50 covers to Swine & Diners. And as always, excited to hear you want to have us back again next January! Thanks for sharing your Passion for Pork.