If you don’t know what the Pork Belly Throwdown is check it out here. I submitted an entry to be the “Wild Card” Judge and have posted it below.
I’m a little broken-hearted because I wasn’t selected, but the person chosen to fill the spot is pretty damn amazing so there wasn’t a competition to begin with. Actually, I don’t even know if Justin Basye (chef de cuisine at Voice) had to write anything more than “because I want to be a judge.” Lucky bastard.
I am accepting donations for a ticket to the event (you can claim this as a donation to charity on your taxes, right?). I have about $2.00 to my name right now so I just need $23 for a chance to taste some of the most inventive and crazy pork belly imaginable. There might even be pork belly ice cream. Can you deny me this?
Here is my entry, submitted about an hour before the final deadline:
“Why should I be a PBTD judge?”
There are very few people capable of judging a competition of this sort. In fact, I had to think long and hard before submitting this entry. Suffice it to say, my procrastination is not without forethought and is truly the result of hours of agonizing. The top three reasons I procrastinated:
1. While my taste buds are not the slightest bit inferior to the other judges I have no credentials aside from a serious passion for food. Hence, a stupid inferiority complex.
2. Can my body handle this? I realize I’m not exactly little … but that’s a lot of food to eat in one night.
3. Will I be able to get off work in time to judge the pork and beans?
Luckily my company solved the last problem when they announced this week that they’re closing our Houston office. And the other two “reasons” were really just excuses. Since I’ll be broke very soon I should probably fatten myself up a little bit and completely disregard #2.
But WHY do I want to judge the PBTD? I like pork. A lot. Although I’ve never eaten any pig tails or pig eyeballs, I have eaten pig’s feet and even some congealed pig’s blood. I’m not a squeamish person when it comes to food and I adore pork belly. Within the past year I have found my way into the local food community and I’m amazed by the creativity of these up and coming (and not so up and coming) chefs. The chance to judge their food could be one of the highlights of my life.
Another highlight :
While working on a farm in Hawaii one of the guys there killed a feral pig with a crossbow. It was taken to a neighboring farm where they prepared it for cooking. This wasn’t a wee little pig, but a massive animal with lots of meat to share with the community. Most of it was thrown onto a big open fire and the meat cooked slowly throughout the night. When I woke up the next morning the fire was barely burning, but as I got closer I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw three strict vegetarians picking at the meat! They had reached into the belly of the beast, quite literally, and were overcome with a fervent desire to eat pork belly. For them the entire experience was life-changing and reminded them that they had been denying their natural instincts.
Watching the sudden transformation of a person is an amazing experience. Whenever I reflect on that morning it reminds me why I love pork so much. Seriously. These people went from self-absorbed judgmental vegetarians to meat-eating alcoholics like the rest of us in no time flat.
I’d love the chance to see firsthand – from behind the judges table – if this event can be that life-changing for anyone else!
(Note: I am not saying vegetarians are bad people. I happen to know and love many people who have chosen that lifestyle and it works for them – body and mind. I don’t want PETA slamming my blog and burning down my house because I was silly and called three former vegetarians self-absorbed. I would have said anything to judge the PBTD.)