Pork Crawl 2017 took a group of trade editors on a culinary journey across New York City last month. Our chef host, Matt Abdoo of NYC’s Pig Bleecker and Pig Beach, was joined by Chef Adam Sappington of The Country Cat in Portland, OR, and Chef José Mendín of Pubbelly Noodle Bar in Miami, FL. The crawl explored nine stops from Manhattan’s West Village to Gowanus in Brooklyn. The crawl theme, Pork Loin End-to-End, highlighted how consistent pork quality, pork chop nomenclature and proper endpoint cooking temperature can improve the opportunity for profit and satisfy operators and customers alike.

Stephen Gerike, Assistant Vice President, Channel Marketing of the National Pork Board, launched the Crawl with a pork loin fabrication demo. Before the breakdown, Gerike addressed the recent announcement from the USDA that they are reviewing a plan to revise voluntary pork standards, which would be a monumental shift directly impacting menus in restaurants across the country (see our following Did You Know? for more information).


As Gerike explained, the pork eating experience is impacted by three factors: consistent pork loin chop names (similar to beef), a recommended end-point cooking temperature of 145°F (followed by a three-minute rest), and quality standards based on color and marbling. “When these three pieces work together, operators will have a real opportunity to deliver delicious, consistent eating experiences – ultimately driving repeat business and increasing the bottom line.”


Moving through the demo, Gerike butchered bone-in and boneless loins and called out specific nomenclature per cut. “The name changes let foodservice and retail operators differentiate pork chops on the menu or in the meat case in a way consumers already recognize. Instead of just a pork chop, they can now offer a porterhouse chop, ribeye chop, New York chop, and so on. The nomenclature offers a variety of cuts and perceived value.” The demo ended with a tasting of the recommended pork quality grading classification of prime, choice and select, for guests compare the differences.
Then the Crawl officially commenced, and editors tasted the pork loin from end to end along the nine-stop tour.

Click here to see the stops.

Pork Crawl 2017, New York City