Greetings from Carrboro,
I made ketchup. Once. It took forever. From a chef’s perspective, you can only wander down this specific culinary trail of tears if you’ve climbed on your moral high horse and then charged, Don Quixote-like, to vanquish the villainous industrial food complex single-handedly. Heinz, Shmeinz. Without a doubt, my handmade chef-ketchup would be world-changing.
And, well, no. Let’s just say that was not the case. The ketchup tasted like craft-store potpourri mixed with canned tomato soup that had been sacrificially burned. And the color was all kinds of wrong. My daughters wouldn’t even risk one single french fry after lengthy parental coercion. The saddest part was that I stubbornly served it for one tragic night, forcing some poor guests to partake in my moral fervor. To those condiment-scarred folk, I’d like to offer – here and now – my heartfelt apology.
You see, chefs mess up. A lot. Sometimes I make grand culinary decisions with no basis in reality. And sometimes they don’t pan out (see above: ketchup). Other times I nail it. Thank god. At the beginning, I certainly didn’t know that local pork was better than its much less expensive commercial cousin. But I did know that I wanted that to be true. Just like I wanted my ketchup to be better. And, quoting Hamlet, there’s the rub. So I had a blind pork tasting. Different producers numbered 1 through 5. About eight of us tasting in the Acme kitchen. There was only one rule: write down your favorite and tell me why. And every single one of us chose producer #4 – Firsthand Foods – our local pasture raised pork supplier. Whew. Needless to say, we’ve used their pork ever since.
That was several years ago. And now, we get an entire hog from Firsthand Foods 3-4 times a month and break it down. It really is remarkable to be able to source such an amazing product on a weekly basis. The very tip-top restaurants in the country certainly get nothing better. So, the first Wednesday of every month, we honor that opportunity and that profound relationship by serving a whole-hog dinner. Four courses dedicated to the deep culinary traditions of pork and the strong farming heritage of this corner of the South.
The Acme Whole Hog Dinner. Wednesday, November 7th. The meal is limited to just 20 people. And tickets are purchased solely through calling the restaurant (919-929-2263). When we’re sold out, we’re sold out. But remember that there’s always next month. Tickets for the dinner are $48 per person or $64 with a curated wine selection. A credit card number will be required when the reservation is made. Menu is below. But absolutely no ketchup. None.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Whole Hog Tasting Menu
November 7, 2018
CHC farmer’s cheese, chervil aioli, housemade chips
2013 Wiemer Cuvée Brut
kohlrabi slaw, fried pickled jalapeños, cilantro-mint vinaigrette
2017 Wiemer Dry Riesling
Stuffed Pork Loin
duck paté, CHC Calvander cheese, herbed potatoes, flash-fried baby kale
2017 Wiemer Field Red
Spiced Apple Olive Oil Cake
bacon & blue cheese ice cream, jalapeño caramel
2016 Wiemer Late Harvest Riesling