Who will be crowned "Prince of Porc" at Cochon555 Boston?
Meet our first chef to be profiled here: Jason Bond - Beacon Hill Bistro
[ed. note: This is the first in a series of profiles on chefs competing for title of “Prince of Porc” at the upcoming Cochon555 event. Other chefs profiles to watch for:
- Jamie Bissonnette
- Matt Jennings
- Tony Maws
- Joseph Margate
I was invited to dine at Bond’s Beacon Hill Bistro and was delighted to accept. We put ourselves in the hands of the chef, going Omakase-style. Looking at the menu, it was clear this is a chef who values locally-sourced products. If you couldn’t tell from the menu itself, the “Local for the Locals” insert sums it up:
These long winter nights accentuate the importance of community. We take it one step further by reinvigorating our commitment in two directions: the community in which we live (that means you!) and the community of local farms which we support. Put it together and you have “Local for the Locals.”
Hand-made cavatelli, New Hampshire bacon, Maine Crab, local cheeses, Nantucket Diver Scallops, Maryland Striped Bass, Yorkshire Pork Shoulder... the signs were good.
One of the challenges of working with whole hogs, as one must often do when dealing with small farms, is using the whole hog efficiently, profitably and of course, deliciously. When I saw that Bond was making Haggis for Robert Burns Day, I knew he was someone with some mad skills. Fabrication (utilizing a whole hog by breaking it down into all possible components), charcuterie, pates, this skill set is one of the criteria for the Cochon event.
On the night we dined with BHB our meal included:
- Crisp Confit D uck Leg with Heirloom Grits and Collard Greens
- Pâté du Chef: House-made Charcuterie with Classic Accompaniments
- Local Skate Wing with Brown Butter Hazelnuts, Roasted Squash and Baby Spinach
- Braised Yorkshire Pork Shoulder with New Carrots and Radishes and Cider Raisin Sauce
Without knowing the Chef or his background, it was easy to tell from his food that he had some stage or training in classical techniques. Sauces were expertly rendered, light and flavorful. Roasting was done perfectly whether it was a pork shoulder or kabocha squash. The confit was excellent.
Based on his Yorkshire shoulder* the other competitors will need to bring their "A" games. The chefs involved in this friendly competition echo Chef Bond’s sentiments. Those I've spoken with have great respect for each other and say this is about celebrating heritage pigs and breed diversity. It's about local sustainable food and secondarily, about winning the title of “Prince of Porc.”
How well do you know this Chef? Here’s a little true/false quiz:
- Chef Bond was raised on a ranch in Wyoming.
- Like other chefs, he studied music in Boston before turning to cooking.
- He studied cheese and charcuterie in France.
- He’s worked at Relais and Chateaux properties.
- He helped open B&G Oysters and The Butcher Shop.
- He knows his way around chocolates and cannele.
Answers in next week’s profile.
* Breeds will also be profiled here shortly.
- Read about Jason's Mangalitsa's here: What's a Hungarian Pig doing on Beacon Hill?