Nostrana chef/owner Cathy Whims is partnering with Montinore Estate, whose owner Rudy Marchesi is as dedicated to biodynamic wine production as he is to reverence for peasant food, to bring the Italian festival of the pig to Oregon. Friends and pork aficionados Jason French (Ned Ludd), Fred Carlo (Salumeria di Carlo) and John Taboada (Luce, Navarre), will come together at Montinore Estate on Feb. 10 to create an experience normally reserved for farmers, butchers, and Italian villagers. The event limited to 60 guests.
Maialata celebration has roots in Northern Italy
In the mountain towns of Northern Italy, winter brings more than frost on the hillsides and a fire in the hearth. Two weeks after the first full moon of the new year, farmers and friends come together for the Maialata. An age-old Italian celebration of the pig – “maiale” is Italian for pork – the feast is steeped in peasant traditions in accordance with folklore and biodynamic practices. All day, the community would work together to butcher and prepare the local pigs, all night they would feast on the bounty of their labor.
“I discovered the Maialata while travelling in Friuli, Northeastern Italy,” Whims said in a news release. “It was such a beautiful tradition, bringing together friends and family with many hands to make light work. Here in Oregon, we have such an affinity for pork, and access to well-raised animals such as those from Laughing Stock Farm, and it felt like a tradition we should share.”
Winter months afford the natural refrigeration necessary to process an entire 500 pound animal into sausages, salumi, prosciutti, steaks, ribs, behemoth roasts and ragus.
In honor of that tradition, Whims, Marchesi and friends invite diners to participate in the entire process: stuffing sausage and making ravioli alongside some of Portland’s best chefs while enjoying hand-crafted cheese, charcuterie and wine.
At dusk, participants will then gather in the wine cellar to indulge in a six-course feast – the product of the days lessons and labors – accompanied by Montinore’s wines.