Snout to Tail Cooking
“If you’re going to kill the animal, it seems only polite to use the whole thing.”
These are the words of Chef Fergus Henderson from his book, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating (Ecco, 2004). Over a decade ago, Henderson was on the vanguard of nose-to-tail cooking. But today it’s much more commonplace to find chefs rediscovering traditions where each part of an animal is valued, and they’re creating adventurous, inspiring dishes.
Besides paying respect to the animal, nose-to-tail cooking meshes perfectly with the farm-to-table phenomenon, where the focus is locally sourced ingredients.
“It’s thrilling to see nose-to-tail dining in a more mainstream aspect in the current food climate,” says Michelle Donaldson, executive chef of Tallgrass Prairie Table in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “It means diners are more educated, chefs are more educated and our food theology is moving in a more sustainable direction.”
We spoke to chefs specializing in nose-to-tail cooking who shared some of their favorite creations using the underappreciated parts of a pig. And we didn’t forget to have them pair their swine with wine…and beer.