My dear friend, Chef Larissa Florica Popa recently held a pop up event at The Menagerie Kitchen in the Indian Hill District of Pontiac Michigan. The Chef and this event were featured on Fox Detroit TV.
Chef Larissa was raised in a Romanian, Hungarian and German household and Eastern European cooking is organic and purely natural to her extremely sophisticated palate. She is a graduate of Schoolcraft College Culinary Arts program. She also studied the art of whole hog butchery and charcuterie in France.
The evening began with a crispy pig ear salad with warm vinaigrette, local greens, and poached quail egg. Next came a charcuterie board trio of pigface rillette, whipped lardo or “pig butter”, and pate with assorted pickles and mustard. This amazing charcuterie board was my favorite course, and it was absolutely decadent and delicious. Chef Larissa’s amazing house made and house cured meats, butcher boards and ploughman’s plates can also be consumed at The Republic Tavern in Detroit.
Before our main course we cleansed our palates with Linden flower granita. The Chef’s flavorful main course was crispy porchetta, scape pesto, stuffed sausage, and mushroom sauce. Scapes are the soft, lime-green-colored stems and unopened flower buds of garlic.
Dessert was an apple hand pie with pork frosting and bacon jam. I could have gone for a few more of those!
Stuffed to the gills and extremely content with this wonderful, whole hog, nose to tail banquet, we had to snap a photo with our amazing Chef at the end of the evening. Brava my friend! Brava!