All right. More news on Culinary Communion and its cured meats, and I swear this is the last post in a while.

So when I

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The Swinery Opens, Culinary Communion Expands

All right. More news on Culinary Communion and its cured meats, and I swear this is the last post in a while.

So when I talked to Gabe Claycamp, the Beacon Hill cooking school's chef and co-owner, about the bacon delivery service he started up last week, he mentioned about 25 million projects that he has accomplished in the past month:

The Swinery Is Opening. So now that the health department has approved the production kitchen downstairs at the school, Claycamp is finally able to get up and running with his meat-curing business. He's got applications in at all three year-round farmers markets to set up a stand (with smoker on site) selling what he hopes will eventually be about 50

different kinds of fresh sausages and cured and smoked meats, including pancetta, prosciutto, pastrami, salumi, and of course, bacon. He will be handing out something he calls bacon marshmallows, and though he explained the marshmallow-making process to me, I think I'll have to taste them (probably several of them) to figure out what they are.

The stand will also be selling chicken and veal stock -- the latter's a real boon to home cooks, since it's both expensive and time-consuming for even restaurants to make, and so the only veal stock you can find to make reduction sauces is prohibitively costly.

T-Shirts. The bacon delivery thing was such a mad rush that he's continuing it. He wants to provide "Bacon Pimp" T-shirts to workplace coordinators who organize bacon drop-offs.

Big Pigs Die Happy. (If you're squeamish, skip down two paragraphs now.) So Claycamp's contracting with a farmer on the other

side of the sound to raise 100 pigs for him next year -- the same one

who hosted the pig slaughter I wrote about in January

-- and the two of them have been lobbying the state's five mobile

slaughter units to convince one of them to process larger pigs rather

than killing them when they're 250-pound teenagers. "I want big pigs

that have flavor and fat," he says. "There is no reason for a farmer

not to raise a pig to its natural size." However, it took months to get

one of the USDA-certified slaughterers to invest the $5,000 to get the

proper equipment to process and scald larger animals.


What this development means is that Seattle cooks who want large,

farm-raised, free-range hogs to make prosciutto or larger-size chops

and roasts with can now get local farmers to grow the hogs for them,

instead of having to source from the Midwest. Pretty #$^#$ing cool.


Two New Restaurants.  Culinary Communion has been wrangling with

the liquor board for months now for a proper liquor license (you read

the details of that whole brouhaha in Rebekah Denn's blog

at the P-I), which meant they couldn't serve wine at either cooking

classes or the Monday-night Vagabond dinners. With that settled, and

with Tom Black (late of 35th St. Bistro and the Barking Frog) in the

kitchen, Culinary Communion is going to start two series of

Sunday-night dinners on alternating weeks.

The first, Muse, starts January 18. "It's a five-course meal with guest chefs that is themed around a central ingredient, Iron Chef style," he says. That means, say, five courses with geoduck, including dessert. (Or maybe bacon.) It'll cost $60 for five-course meal.

On every other Saturday, Tom Black will be signing students up to cook in a restaurant for the day. They'll meet in the morning to set the menu and prep, and then the doors will open at a certain time for customers to come in for an a la carte dinner cooked by the students.

I'm guessing that now that all this is legit, you'll be able to find out more on the Culinary Communion website or by calling 284-8687. And when you call, tell Gabe and Heidi to take a  day off, because hearing about all these new projects makes me feel like a fricking slacker.

 
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