SOBEWFF: Jorge Padrón Wins Peoples Choice Award at Swine & Wine
Padron's Cuban Pork Sliders with Mariquitas
All photos Sara Ventiera
At an event titled Swine & Wine, you'd expect plenty of pork fat and rivers of alcohol flowing.
This was most certainly the case last night at the Goya-sponsored, Michelle Bernstein-hosted event at the Biltmore Hotel.
The porcine-centric evening brought some of the best chefs from all around the country together for a Miami-style pig roast with rum, vodka, wine, Latin tunes, and, of course, cigars.
After years of competing, Jorge Padrón of Padrón Cigars finally took home the win with the People's Choice Award.
We spoke to Padrón, and picked some favorite dishes from the event.
"Today the Cubans finally won," said Padrón, on stage. "We're not in the restaurant business, but lechon is really important to us."
Padron receiving his giant check
Needless to say, after years of competing, Padrón was thrilled about taking home the award.
"It's awesome," he says. "We've been fighting for this for three years, and finally, we win it."
At the beginning of the evening, guests were given a token to be placed inside a jar on their favorite chef's table.
The award was fair game for all of the participating chefs; however, host Michelle Bernstein was not eligible to win -- regardless, she smiled, chatted, and offered attendees a delicious pork shoulder with Brussels sprouts salad and confit grapes, savory with a hint of sweetness.
Bernstein's pork shoulder
While Bernstein couldn't receive any tokens, her dish, obviously, received a lot of attention.
Other favorites included Pubbelly chef/partnet Josè Mendin's cochinillo lechal asado (roasted suckling pig) with sour apple purèe, red miso jus, and celery root remoulade; 3030 Ocean executive Paula da Silva's crispy pork belly tacos with kimchee and lime aioli; Seattle-based chef Ethan Stowell's fennel pollen roasted whole pig, fennel roasted pork belly roulade and fennel, and sausage and chickpea with taggiasca salad; and Timon Balloo's (of Bocce Bar) pancetta spiced pork with local vegetable giardinera.
Paula da Silva's crispy pork belly tacos
Medin's cochinillo lechal asado
Balloo's pancetta spiced pork
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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