Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

October 1, 2011

Had a regular call me on my day off to request a whole roasted pig for his wife’s birthday.  Mike Panza from Biagio came through with the guest of honor; Goose seasoned and smoked the pig, then we roasted ‘er off.  Even though I have an iPhone 5, the picture came out blurry.  Hm.

Those pomegranates and branches came from right outside our back door.  To get that shine, I brushed the skin with some rendered pancetta fat, left over from crisping up lardons of pancetta that Andrew cured a few weeks ago.  The fragrance coming off of that pig was unreal.

As I carved the pig, I anticipated tasting wines that the guests had brought with them . . . in this case, 1980 Zinfandel from a double magnum.  They moved from that one to younger zins in smaller bottles, which is really the only way they could’ve gone, right?

I served the pig over creamly anson mills polenta and rapini all’arrabiatta with shelling beans with a slightly sweet/sour pork jus.  They wiped it out and asked for more, but I had run out of the vegetables, so we made suckling pig sliders with house recipe barbecue sauce and peach coleslaw on griddled pain au lait buns.  Now THAT’s a good pairing with zin.

Thanks to all for our great showing in the 2012 Zagat.  Keep up the voting for solbar so we can make it to 27 next year.

Couldn’t believe the Braves fell apart like that, but at least I’m not a Red Sox fan.  Ouch.  Go Brewers?  Whatever.  31 days till Tarheel basketball.

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