Putting the pig’s best foot forward
By Marissa La Brecque, Co-founder of The Butcher's Guild
Making good food accessible to all is a tricky business and requires all kinds of great minds and hard work. Many of us are eager to celebrate the earthy, hands-on work of farmers, chefs, butchers and other craftspeople. There is, however, a whole group of people whose hard work often goes unnoticed in the good food world because their roles in this virtuous community are more nebulous. Olivia Tincani is one of these mysterious beings. She appears behind many corners and opens many doors.
I first met Olivia in Athens, Georgia, when I was researching my first book, Primal Cuts: Cooking With America’s Best Butchers. She feasted me at her restaurant, Farm 255 (which she co-owned with a mad group of talented collaborators), and toured me through their ranch and farm operation.
A Bay Arean by birth, Olivia has since returned to her native soil and the work of good food here in our area. A partner at Fare Resources, a local firm that supports responsible, food-focused businesses, she also serves as business, sales and communications strategist for Chico’s Rancho Llano Seco, a 150-year-old Mexican land grant property that raises heritage pork, heirloom beans and walnuts, all the while co-existing as a wildlife refuge, leaving much of the land stunningly uncultivated.
Suffice to say, Olivia knows a lot about pigs, from raising them in the red dirt of Georgia to convincing wary consumers to bravely “eat the insides” during Llano Seco’s annual Offal Wonderful campaign.
We often think of braised and saucy shanks in the wintertime. This is the warm months’ treatment of a shank, still rich, but perfect served with grilled bread and fruit mostarda or onion jam or over an herbaceous green salad.
Find the recipe at the link below for pig shanks, trotters included, from Matthew Palmerlee, who was Farm 255’s head chef at the time.