Hog Wild For Hawaii-Grown Part Two, or The Art of Pork of Chef Noreen Lam

photo: Bryant Lagmay

Art and Agriculture are the parents of all cuisine.

Yes, it is all about chemistry, think about it. Before the Periodic Table was ever conceived, women have been creatively obsessing, analyzing and experimenting with food (plant and animal) since the first sweet potato was tentatively dropped into the fire pit.

photo: Bryant Lagmay

 

Our Hog Wild Project started out as a way to help our remaining hog farmers recover by mobilizing support through community, chefs, and retailers. In these months, for a variety of reasons working on this project has impacted both Dan and I in unexpected ways. For Dan, it has launched a soulful exploration of his Okinawan roots. For me, it has reawakened a long held dream of invoking collaborations between artists and agriculturalists as part of an adventure in discovering ways to rebuild our food system.

With this in mind, we are very happy and grateful to be able to present to you this special feature. The Art of Pork is a collaboration with culinarian Noreen Lam, artist Tia Castro, designer/photographers Walter Sparks, Bryant Lagmay. This event was directed by Tia Castro.

Noreen Lam is my culinary hero. Locally-grown, CCA trained, Noreen worked alongside Jeremiah Tower and has been part of local food movement from early days. She’s a chef’s chef and likes to keep a low-profile so we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with her about our Hog Wild effort and were ecstatic when she wanted to lend her support.

photo: Bryant Lagmay

Noreen offered to explore classic pork-centered Okinawan dishes and to create recipes inspired by the Hog Wild effort. She cites two main books featuring culture and cuisine of Okinawa, “Chimugukuru: the soul, the spirit, the heart: Okinawan Mixed Plate II” (by Hui O Laulima) and “Of Andagi and Sanshin” (edited by Ruth Adaniya, Alice Njus and Margaret Yamate) as entry points to her exploration.

These three recipes are her contributions to this effort. As this event took place Noreen’s kitchen, it was visually documented by Tia, Bryant and Walter.

Many thanks to Noreen, Tia, Walter and Bryant for shining their creative light on the Hog Wild project, freeing up the etheric beauty of such an earthly subject. Mahalo nui to Amy and Glen Shinsato for raising such beautiful animals and for gifting one of them for this project. Also thanks to Jaycee Higa of Higa Meats and Todd Low of Hawaii Department of Agriculture for their help too.

To see previous incarnations of collaborations between Tia Castro, Noreen Lam and Bryant Lagmay, visit the Blanc Catering website.

I hope you enjoy these recipes Noreen created – an homage to Uchinanchu classics – Glazed Miso Pork Belly with Vegetable Stew, Sparerib Soup with Okinawan Soba and Rafute with Bittermelon Tempura.

– Lisa

photo: Bryant Lagmay

photo: Bryant Lagmay

photo: Bryant Lagmay

photo: Bryant Lagmay

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