Miami-born Michael Beltran has recently added something more to his list of accomplishments before the year's end: Work under his mentor, Norman Van Aken, and make his own clothing company.
The "P.I.G." in P.I.G. Inc., his clothing line, stands for Pure Industry Genius -- which, by Beltran's account, explains what life is all about: Making the impossible possible, or, making pigs fly.
The Cuban-American chef, who is currently working at Tuyo under his famous mentor, says the idea sprouted from a little inspirational family history and his love for art.
Almost half a century ago, Beltran's grandmother and her family arrived in Miami with less than $100 to their name. She sewed and sold jeans to keep the family from poverty and starvation. After a successful start getting her jeans in locals stores and boutiques, she became the owner of her own clothing factory.
"Her life inspired me to build P.I.G. Inc.," says Beltran.
Particularly with Art Basel around the corner, it's not uncommon to see the worlds of food and art mesh together. However Beltran's timing with us was purely coincidence.
"I am a huge love of art, particularly music, fashion, and of course food," he says. "Art provokes emotion and feeling, and as an artist and a chef, I hope my customers feel the emotion that goes into creating each piece of art."
P.I.G. Inc.'s T-shirts come adorned with pigs sketched with crowns, or screen-printed with parachutes holding them afloat (a nod to "making pigs fly"). The pig with the crown is referred to as "the notorious P.I.G.." One t-shirt has a heart made out of kitchen tools (like knives, spatulas, and the like) on the front of it.The description for the shirt reads, "the Heart of the kitchen, because it takes more than just tools to be great." Shirts come in standard sizes, and women's styles and hoodies are on the way. They price from $17.95 to $21.95.
Beltran finally says, "Food is a form of art. It flows from the soul out onto the plate, much as an artist with his paint brush onto a canvas. So our mission is to bridge the gap between art and food by combining both."
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For more info on P.I.G. Inc., visit their website at pig-inc.net.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.