While New York City (and my Instagram feed) has been flooded this past week by runway models, designers, and their thin-limbed entourage, I decided to take a trip out of the city to decidedly the most un-Fashion Week event possible: Pig Island.
After a quick ferry ride from downtown’s Pier 11 to Red Hook, Brooklyn, I arrived in Hog Heaven. My all-inclusive ticket gave me access to the roughly thirty white tents dotting the skyline, each manned by local farmers, brewers, and chefs turning out an array of swine-filled dishes. Think pork buns, sausage, chicharones, hot dogs, and pork loin, served up with a side of ice-cold beer (for the brave who dared to wait in the hour-long line for a brew).
Surprisingly, there was little in the way of traditional Southern barbecue. Instead, chefs used the opportunity to create dishes that are not regularly found on a gingham picnic table. Pizza Loves Emily traded in their mozzarella and red sauce for flatbread topped with smoked shredded pigskin, homemade BBQ sauce, and greens. Martin Høedholt and Pablo Ventura of Revolving Dansk served a traditional Copenhagen Street Dog with Danish remoulade, crispy fried onions, and salty Lakrids.
I tried to be picky as I passed by the stands; a seasoned friend warned me to pace myself. The self-control proved worth it as I found my favorite dish on the way out: Tacos de Chorizo Verde y Longaniza from the Brooklyn-based Mexican restaurant, Hecho en Dumbo. Served with tortillas stuffed with pumpkin seed and pinenuts, the green chorizo had the perfect balance of freshness and fat.
The scorching weather chased us out early (pork and humidity do not get along, it turns out), but I’ll be back next year – you’ll find me trying to balance a plate with a portable fan.