Although you’ll most often find us at our office (currently the Martinez’s kitchen, which we still haven’t burned down- not for lack of trying) we have managed to get out into the sunshine for a couple of field trips recently.
One of our favorite four legged friends, and arguably the most delicious and versatile of meats, is the pig. This first field trip was our search for a pig source that met our standards and shared our values. Our search for premium pork led us south to a place called Cooks Pigs. Here you won’t find animals pumped full of hormones or fed unnatural things to push them to slaughter weight faster. Pigs forage for acorns among the oaks that are abundant on the ranch, and have all the room and time they need to naturally grow into healthy pigs. We spent half a day with Mike and Christina Cook, sipping on hard cider and touring their ranch.
Julian’s pondering piggy life posture. It’s not quite clear in this photo but there are many acres of oak forest behind the pigs pen where they are free to roam and forage. That black mass of pig on our side of the gate is called grandma, she wasn’t moving for anybody.
Our second field trip was to a place called Cold Spring Tavern. Just north of Santa Barbara, off of the 154, Cold Spring Tavern is famous for its rich history as a stopping point for those traveling to and from Santa Barbara on the Stagecoach Road. Built in the 1860s, Cold Spring Tavern has the charm of a bygone time, and is one of the inspirations for Barbareño. On weekends they serve up simple, but tasty tri-tip sandwiches straight off the grill.