Recap: Swine and Dine at OTTO Food & Drink

Last week, a January winter storm couldn’t keep a plethora of diners away from OTTO Food & Drink, which played host to Alberta Pork‘s first Swine and Dine of 2019. Chef Steven Furgiuele, creator of FUGE at OTTO, along with his culinary team served up a four-course meal featuring Stonepost Farms pork from appetizer to dessert to a packed house.

Owner Ed Donszelmann professes that at his Norwood neighbourhood pub, ‘there is no pomp and ceremony at Otto Food and Drink, just good food, craft beer, a carefully considered wine list, and friendly staff.

When I asked Chef Furgiuele why he wanted to host a Swine and Dine at OTTO he shared that he felt it just made sense – he wanted to share a pork-packed menu featuring the comfort food that OTTO is known for. Steve explained that while there are a variety of sausage options at OTTO, pork is the backbone of the menu. He also forged a relationship with Becky and John Doherty of Stonepost Farms at the 124 Grand Market, and was eager to showcase their Berkshire pork (as well as teach his crew how to break down an entire pig). Prior to our first course, guests learned first hand about their journey as first-generation farmers from Becky, who was on hand to also experience the wonderful meal Steve created with pork from her farm. 

1st Course – 14 Hour Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini

Our first course of the evening was inspired by Chef Furgiuele’s love of using Louisiana Grills’ products to smoke different cuts of meat -14 Hour Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini. Steve knew he wanted to serve a light crostini with Bonjour Bakery sourdough to start, so he paired smoked pork picnic cuts with acidic notes from pink lady apples, pomegranate, and arugula. 

 

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

2nd Course – Cotechino Salsiccia

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

Steve explained that Cotechino is an Italian dish typically served on New Year’s Eve. The large sausage, made from the leg of the pig, is often served with lentils, which symbolize coins, and are inspired to bring money for the coming year. For our second course, Steve used warm spices, some of the skin, as well as a heavier fat content to create his large-diameter sausage. He swapped out the lentils for Gold Forest Grains farro, and accented the dish with preserved lemon, Franciacorta sparkling wine, and a parsley salsa verde (that I would easily buy by the jar).

 

3rd Course – Cena Della Domenica

Our main course was on par with the hearty servings of sausages OTTO and FUGE are known for. Steve’s childhood Cena Della Domenica, or Sunday dinners, were the inspiration for the entire meal, especially our family-style main course.

Growing up, Steve’s father bought cases of Pecorino Crotonese from Italy, stacking the family cold room with wheels of cheese. While he hated rapini growing up, his palate has adjusted to enjoy the bitter veg, and he chuckles at how rapini, or broccoli rabe, has become a more popular/trendy vegetable.

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom
Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

The Pecorino Crotonese & rapini salsiccia sausage was smothered in more cheese as well as a smoked tomato-pork sugo (rich tomato sauce with pulled pork) and served alongside a lemon-broccoli salad, roasted parsnip with hazelnut picada, and Bonjour Bakery parisienne bread.

4th Course – Zeppole

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

A zeppole is an Italian doughnut or fritter usually topped with powdered sugar. Chef Furgiuele decided to make his version 100 % gluten free – huge thanks from this gluten-free girl. Steve shared that his father used to talk about when they would slaughter pigs back in Italy, and they would take the blood and mix it with cocoa to be dipped with bread sticks. Swine and dine challenges chefs to incorporate Alberta pork from appetizer to dessert, and Steve’s serving of sanguinaccio dolce – an Italian pudding made from pig’s blood made creamy and sweetened with chocolate, was a first for many of us in the room.

Chef Steve gets ready to pour the pork blood for his sanguinaccio dolce sauce

The sauce tasted similar to Nutella, and had chef Furgiuele not told the room we were going to dip our donuts in blood, I don’t think anyone would have been able to distinguish the flavour. I love being able to try new things, so I applaud Steve for pushing the culinary boundaries with a room full of adventurous diners.


When I spoke with Steve about the meal he was very proud that his team used every piece of the Stonepost Farms pig for OTTO’s Swine and Dine dinner. It may have been cold outside, but the vibe inside OTTO was filled with the warmth of hearty food and shared among good company. 

One thing is for sure, Alberta pork sausages are always on the menu at OTTO Food & Drink. Chef Furgiuele is always coming up with new sausage and pork creations – stop by OTTO for a sip and a bite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTTO Food & Drink
11405 95 St, Edmonton, AB T5G 1L3
(780) 477-6244

HOURS
Everyday 4:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
Happy Hour 4:30-6 p.m. Daily

 

Swine and Dine at Otto Food & Drink January 31, 2019

Have you been in Swine and Dine withdrawal? Well get ready to kick-start the new year with a healthy dose of Alberta pork. We are excited to announce that Alberta Pork is kicking off our 2019 season of Swine and Dine with chef Steven Furgiuele of Otto Food and Drink in Edmonton.

On Thursday, January 31, 2019, chef Furgiuele (who has transitioned his incredible Fuge Meats sausage skills exclusively to Otto) will be sharing his passion for pork with this four-course meal, featuring Stonepost Farms’ Alberta Pork from appetizer to dessert:

Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini
pink lady apple, pomegranate, arugula, potato sourdough

Cotechino Salsiccia
farro, soffritto, preserved lemon, franciacorta

Cena Della Domenica
rapini & crotonese salsiccia, smoked tomato-pork sugo, roasted parsnip, hazelnut picada, fresh bread

Zeppole
gluten-free fritters, sanguinaccio dolce

 

Don’t let the Italian terms on the menu confuse you (chef Furgiuele will explain all at dinner). Chef Furgiuele tells us he wanted to share a no-fuss, comfort food menu that will feature a big main-course family-style affair of delicious foods. Tickets are $55 which includes the meal, gratuities and tax. This one is sure to sell out; seating is limited.


Swine and Dine at Otto Food & Drink
Thursday, January 31, 2019, at 6 pm
11405 95 St, Edmonton, AB T5G 1L3
$55 (including tax and gratuities)
Tickets available on eventbrite

 

Recap: Swine and Dine with Drift at the Shamrock Curling Club

I started my rookie curling season at the Shamrock Curling Club last year, which also marked the first year Drift Food Truck owners Nevin and Kara Fenske moved indoors to offer their menu for the winter season. Since they now had access to a larger kitchen than the food truck, tables, chairs, and the Shamrock lounge upstairs, it wasn’t long before I was frequently pestering them about when they were going to host a Swine and Dine.

My persistence paid off, and last week the Shamrock played host to the latest Edmonton Swine and Dine dinner, marking the first time the event had ever been held at a curling club.

 

Photo courtesy of Diane @argenplath

It was no surprise that the 34 seats for their inaugural Swine and Dine sold out quickly. At $45 per person, we were treated to a hearty Drift portioned, four-course family-style dinner featuring Alberta pork from appetizer to dessert. I can assure you – no one left the event hungry.

The Drift pork belly sandwich is a legendary item on the food truck scene in Edmonton, so I always felt that Drift would be a good fit for a Swine and Dine event. Since they use a lot of pork products in their dishes, and they enjoy collaborating, Nevin and Kara agreed.

Thursday night league action at the Shamrock Curling Club

When we arrived we took our outside shoes off at the front door and headed up stairs to the lounge. Diners were assigned seating among four tables and welcomed by our gracious hosts for the evening Nevin and Kara. The Thursday ladies league kicked off, providing free entertainment with our all pork menu.

1st course: Pork Rillettes – crostini, house pickles

The first course of the evening was a bit of a departure from the classic Drift fare and a surprise for me, until Nevin told me that he was a classically trained French chef, and that he and Kara had spent time in France (and both love the cuisine). To kick things off, each diner received a generous portion of pork rillettes. Similar in texture to pâté, but not pâté, pork rillettes is a spread made from meat that is cooked slowly in fat, shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. Nevin served his version, which just happened to be my favourite dish of the evening, with baguettes and some of Drift’s house-made pickles.

 

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

2nd course: Roasted Vegetable & Prosciutto Salad, Potato & Pork Croquettes

Our next course was a double helping of veggies with a dose of bacon and prosciutto. Roasted kabocha squash and a balsamic vinaigrette sweetened up Drift’s savoury kale, prosciutto and pumpkin seed salad. And, staying true to the heart of food-truck cuisine, Nevin knew he wanted to fry something. While Drift does serve croquettes, Nevin had never made them with pork before. He had some fun experimenting and came up with what he calls a solid recipe. Looking at the empty croquettes plates that were sent back to the kitchen, I would have to agree with him.

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

 

3rd course: Roast Pork Loin & Belly, roasted potato, cider-braised cabbage, pureed carrots, pickled green beans


 

When it came to the main course, Nevin knew he wanted to serve a fun – family style meal. Inspired by his time working in a kitchen in Ireland, our Drift Swine & Dine main course was reminiscent of a Sunday pub dinner with all the fixings. I love eating family style, which allowed each of us to sneak a larger portion of items we liked, or so Ukrainians like myself could take extra servings of the braised cabbage (made with what I am told is extra special homemade cider).

 

4th course: Apple & Bacon Fritters – apple pie liqueur glaze

Nevin told me he had never cooked with pork in a dessert, but he knew dessert was definitely going to be fried. He experimented with a fritter batter and came up with apple & bacon fritters. The sauce, an apple pie liqueur glaze, was made extra special with a little bacon fat.

The atmosphere of being in a curling club paired with the casual fun food presented by Kara & Nevin made for a Swine and Dine I will never forget. For those who are loyal followers of Drift – you know the food is made from scratch with care. Kara and Nevin are two very hard working entrepreneurs, and you can feel the love in the food they share. Many in attendance said it was their favourite Swine and Dine to date.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Cindy and Diane for attending and letting me share some of their photos. 

On behalf of Alberta Pork and the Passion for Pork initiative – I’d like to thank Nevin & Kara as well as Chris at the Shamrock, for hosting what I hope is their first of many Swine and Dine dinners. After the holiday break the club is heading into heavy bonspeil season, so while I don’t have an upcoming Drift Swine and Dine date to announce, you can always stop by the club for some free curling entertainment and a bite of Drift.

Stay tuned to their social media accounts for updates on special events, and remember you can be sure that pork will always be on the menu at the Drift Concession at the Shamrock.

Drift Food Truck & Eatery at the SHAMROCK CURLING CLUB
9330 – 80 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6C 0T9

Swine & Dine with Drift Food Truck at the Shamrock – Nov 29, 2018

Have you ever wondered what food truck operators do during the cold winter months in Alberta? Well in Edmonton, Nevin and Kara Fenske have found the ultimate partnership to satisfy the Drift Food Truck pork-belly sandwich cravings of their loyal customers throughout the year, by taking over the concession at the Shamrock Curling Club.

Now well into their second indoor season, Drift owners Nevin and Kara and their crew of merry staff are serving up stadium nachos, buttermilk fried chicken, and of course their legendary pork-belly sandwiches to a legion of curlers, as well as the general public who is in the secret they have moved indoors during the winter season.

At 6 p.m. on November 29, 2018, the Shamrock Curling Club will play host to our next Swine & Dine dinner, where Drift will be sharing a four-course menu for $45:

Drift Swine & Dine at the Shamrock:

1st – Pork Rillette
2nd – Roast Winter veg salad, with Potato & Pork Croquettes
3rd – Roast Pork with Potatoes & Cider Braised  Cabbage
4th – Apple & Bacon Fritters

Space is limited for this special event, so you better hurry hard if you want a seat at the shared tables. Please email your reservation request to info@driftfoodtruck.ca and for payment confirmation.

For those looking for a bite of Drift, you can head to the Shamrock until March for a taste. The Drift Concession is located on the main floor of the Shamrock Curling Club.

Drift Concession at the SHAMROCK CURLING CLUB
9330 – 80 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6C 0T9

Those looking for a tasty beverage or a game of darts can head on upstairs to the lounge. (Please visit www.driftfoodtruck.ca/hours-and-locations or use the Streetfood App for the most up to date hours).