Before you could even step inside The Gladly Sunday, you could smell the salty, smoky aromas of pork wafting through the air. But that will tend to happen when seven of the Valley's best chefs team up to create an eleven-dish, pork-centric supper.
With the help of Tender Belly, which provided all the pork for the event, it seemed almost no part of the pig was off limits. We were treated to samplings of neck, feet, cheek, skin, tongue, belly, jowl, temple, blood, and lardo, to name a few (pig ears were conspicuously absent).
While all of the family-style dishes created by Chefs Stephen Jones, Gregory Casale, Josh Hebert, Gio Osso, Kelly Fletcher, Cullen Campbell, and Bernie Kantak would have satisfied any bacon lover's piggy craving, a few stood out.
Chef Kelly Fletcher's braised pork belly with pickled carrots and kimchi-style potatoes was well-balanced with the tender, Asian caramel belly contrasting perfectly with the crunchy, tart veggies.
Chef Josh Hebert of Posh surprised us with his Japanese BBQ style pork tongue. The shredded pieces of pickled ginger added an enjoyable brightness to the creamy broth and chewy strips of tongue.
Chef Bernie Kantak of The Gladly and Citizen Public House tackled five different dishes, each seeming to be a porky twist on traditional comfort foods - grits and greens, popcorn, hotdogs, chilaquiles, and bread and butter.
Our favorite dish of the day was hands down the sourdough pancakes with pork jowl and temple. Chef Cullen Campbell of Crudo blew us away with his fluffy and delicate mini pancakes topped with juicy, sweet pieces of pork. We only wish we had gotten more than just one pancake each.
The Gladly's bar manager, Brian Goodwin, and his staff offered a pair of boozy slushies, a sorbet mimosa and Ipanema punch as refreshing accompaniments to the meal.
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Our one complaint with the Pig Out was that the meal seemed disorganized. There was no order to the dishes coming out of the kitchen and several showed up to our table at room temperature. They were still delicious, but we couldn't help but wonder how much better they would have been had they been served piping hot.
Despite the event's relatively minor detractions, it was a pleasure to experience the chefs' takes on arguably the most beloved meat. We left stuffed and beyond ready for a post-supper nap.
See more photos on the next page and check out our complete slideshow to see all the dishes and drinks served.