Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Black Pig Meat Co. Makes Mario Batali's Perfect Breakfast Bacon

Bacon shouldn't leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Black Pig Meat Co. knows this, and they've done everything possible to ensure that their bacon won't.

It's made from heritage breed pigs raised without antibiotics and hormones on a free-range country farm in Sebastopol, California. Chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart – the team behind Black Pig's much-beloved bacon – have been obsessed with using the highest quality ingredients to yield superior food since even before they were crowned “King & Queen of Porc” by Food & Wine. They first discovered this mutual interest while working together on the Seattle restaurant scene. They got married, opened a restaurant and farm called Zazu in Santa Rosa, California, and then things really got going. Both Zazu and Duskie and John started racking up accolades for their approach to farm-to-table, "snout-to-tail" Italian dishes and local, familial atmosphere.

The philosophy behind the fare came as a result of John's childhood spent in the kitchen of his family's catering company and his later years cooking at Seattle's Café Lago, where he fell in love with all things Italian – especially its emphasis on the connection between food and family. Meanwhile, Duskie's family-food association developed during weekly Wednesday dinners with her father and many years heading up restaurant kitchens across the country.

John stepped up his salami game by studying with chef Mario Batali and at the University of Iowa Meat Lab (seriously, where do we sign up?!). Bacon was the logical next step. Soon enough, they started Black Pig, where they "slow down" the often flash-cured bacon process and focus on quality over quantity.

Some of our favorite porky Black Pig products include Bacon Peanut Butter Cups (a peanut butter cup hog's dream), Bacon Toffee Caramel Popcorn (salty, Mouth-wateringly savory bits of – oh my – real bacon), Bacon Toffee Pig Pops (these make great party favors or stocking stuffers… or stick one in a glass of whiskey and call it a garnish!), and Dry Cured Bacon, which is so good Mario Batali said, “this is a perfect bacon for both breakfast and for a smokin’ carbonara… maybe at the same time??” Yes, Mario. Yes.

These days, John (the rancher) and Duskie (the chef) dwell on a farm raising chickens, pigs, goats, turkey, rabbits...and their two girls, Brydie and MacKenzie. Their days are spent experimenting with wine, pig breeding and boundary-pushing bacon. 

You could call us jealous. But mainly we're just thrilled that they decided the bacon was just too good to hog it all for themselves.  

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