Friend and faithful patron of the restaurant, Thomas from Eat Local Memphis, shares the history lesson behind one of Chef Kelly’s Grand COCHON offerings in his latest post. Be sure to check it out….who knows, you may learn something!
On the Road to Cochon
So, as many of you know, Kelly English (Iris) was the champion (aka Prince of Pork) at the Memphis Cochon 555 competition. That put him in the national finals, which were in Aspen. As we talked about the competition, I asked if he cooked the same items he did in Memphis, and he told me the story about how he came up with a new dish for the event.
Kelly’s chosen pig was a Tamworth, so he did some research on the breed and their history. It turns out that the Tamworth breed was created by Sir Robert Peel at his Drayton Manor Estate at Tamworth, Staffordshire. While there, he bred the Irish Grazer with the local Tamworth pigs, and the Tamworth Pig breed was born. Due to a lack of interbreeding with non-European breeds (cool!), this pig is one of the closest to the old European forest pigs that there is. Another fact about the Tamworth is that it is often called the “bacon pig” due to its large belly that gains mass but not an overwhelming amount of fat.