Punk and Pork: Pig Mountain Barbecue This Weekend in the Catskills

Credit: Randy Harris
Credit: Randy Harris

Once a punk show, now a pig roast, the third annual Pig Mountain event will gather in the Catskills this Saturday, August 24. Fourteen chefs will each be given a pig wrapped in banana leaves to roast underground for 24 hours (we’re already drooling) in Narrowsburg, NY. Then, in true punk fashion, each chef will serve a unique preparation of the dish alongside three seasonal vegetable sides.

Punk, pork, veggies, and music on a Saturday in the Catskills, you say? Seems like the ideal weekend activity during the dog days of summer.

Chef Andres Valbuena of Brooklyn’s Martha (formerly known as the Brooklyn Sandwich Society) is one of the several talented chefs who will make their way upstate this weekend. He’s worked at Mugaritz in Spain’s Basque country, as well as The French Laundry in Napa Valley. In New York, he was involved with the Brooklyn Edible Social Club before starting The Brooklyn Sandwich Society, which is now the newly christened Martha.

Since it’s his first appearance at probably the coolest barbecue of the year, we wanted to find out what he’s got planned.

Edible Brooklyn: How did the event go from a punk show to a pig roast? Was it a natural evolution?
Andres Valbuena: You know, it sort of was. They are similar in that are largely grassroots and community supported events. We help each other set up and take down; it’s all us making this event happen.

EB: We hear that you’re going to have your own banana leaf roasted hog to prepare and serve at the event. What’s your plan?
AV: I’m going to stuff mine with pineapples and oranges and then roll it in a Sichuan sauce. As for my three vegetables sides, I’m planning on serving some house-made kimchi, roasted scallions in a sesame dressing, and some of our pickled cucumbers.

EB: Seems like a wide range of influences. What was the inspiration? 
AV: What I plan on doing is not purely Asian cooking, but a mix of my training with some examples of European technique and my own South American background. It’s like what I’m doing with my menus at Martha, which is really just a fusion of all of my training and tastes. I’ve felt really liberated in experimenting with my own style since we changed the name of the restaurant. The word “sandwich” limited our abilities since that’s we were pretty much telling customers to expect. Now that we’re not bound to that term, I’ve really been able to do what I want.

To learn more about the event and purchase tickets, check out Pig Mountain’s concert flyer-esque website. What’s more, the gathering is a fundraiser for the National Young Farmers Coalition, which “represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers” and “supports practices and policies that will sustain young, independent and prosperous farmers now and in the future.”

Rock on, Pig Mountain.

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