Among the highlights of writer Michael Pollan’s recent Netflix series Cooked was his foray into the world of whole-hog barbecue. Watching legendary pit master Ed Mitchell use techniques passed down from his great-grandfather induced hunger pangs and no doubt inspired a few viewers, including Pollan himself, to give it a go too.
To see what all the fuss is about, you usually need to head to American states such as Kansas, Tennessee and Texas. But this month Copenhagen sees the return of its own celebration of whole-hog barbecue – the Amazing Pig-Out.
Strong winds threatened to spoil last year’s event, held in the gardens of Amass, the much-admired restaurant in gusty Refshaleøen. The organisers of the city’s porkiest picnic must hope the gods will be appeased by this most sacramental of meals when it returns to the same location on June 19.
They include Amass and ODC Mad – an online butcher specialising in organic meat produced from animals raised to the highest welfare standards. Its co-founder, Joachim Friis, says they want to show that “happy pigs make happy people” – and taste better, too.
To make their case, they’ve scaled up the event. Six pigs from Knuthenlund Farms – one of Denmark’s largest organic estates – will feed 500 people. Local butcher Spis Min Gris will roast a whole hog, while five top chefs – including Christian Puglisi of Michelin-starred Relæ and Doug McMaster of the UK’s zero-waste restaurant Silo – will prepare different parts of the pigs.
Still, having fun is the aim of the Amazing Pig-Out – not being preachy. “We’re very Switzerland about things,” explains ODC co-founder Jonathan Soriano. “It’s cool if you want to eat conventional meat. I’m not going to judge you. But we reserve the right to preach happiness on this account.” M
The Amazing Pig-Out
The Garden of Amass
Refshalevej 153, KBH