February 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of my eating adventures and, as ever, I'm excited about what the coming months will bring for us foodies! In case this is your first visit (if not, welcome back), I'm a 30-something female with a very healthy appetite!...I promise to share with you my experience of each restaurant, café or bar in which I set foot...so, let's go out!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Castellano's presents: 'All Things Pig...2' – The 'Sweakquel*'!

As soon as the familiar piggy flyers began to circulate, the Bristol 'foodie' Twitter network began to buzz – this could only mean one thing...the eagerly anticipated second 'All Things Pig' event, courtesy of local charcutier and chef, Vincent Castellano...

Date and Time: Saturday 4th June 2011, 19:00 for 19:30 start
Name of Event: Castellano's presents 'All Things Pig...2'*
Location: St. Aldhelm's Church, Bedminster, Bristol
Reason for Attendance: Thoroughly enjoyed the first 'All Things Pig'; - see review, 'Piggin'Marvellous...Castellano's presents, 'All Things Pig'  for details!

Stepping into St Aldhelm's Church never fails to impress, with it's beautiful Victorian architecture aglow by candlelight, it really makes for a fabulous venue for a pop-up restaurant. The aforementioned 'All Things Pig' motif, tastefully arranged by Miller Design UK*, had been hung throughout the space and long tables, adorned with lanterns, had been carefully set allowing for a communal hub of friendly banter, foodie-related discussion and most notably, reverberated awe for the man at the helm of this event, Vincent, who as part of the introductory speeches, treated diners to an informative run-through of the menu, including personal anecdotes regarding the origins of his expertise and more importantly, explaining which parts of the pig had been prepared for our dining pleasure!

The first three courses consisted of a range of porcine delicacies presented beautifully and prepared to perfection; chorizo with it's warming spiciness, brawn remoulade (which I enjoyed a lot more this time, it's rich flavour accenting a crisped bruscetta canapé and finished with creamy coleslaw) and Delices de St Antoine which, served with Boudin Noir and a segment of caramelised apple, interestingly came from a recipe that Vincent was given years ago from an old lady in the Alps! The charcuterie board, accompanied by tasty sour dough from The Bertinet Kitchen*, was generously put-together and included a range of tasty morsels to share with your neighbours, namely; Coppa, Saucisson, Pate de Campagne and Pate en Croute. The addition of Castellano's coveted onion marmalade delighted The Boy no end as this is one of his favourites from the deli! 
Delices de St. Antoine, Boudin Noir and Caramelised Apple

Charcuterie Board

It is to be noted that the appetiser and charcuterie board were of very similar standing to the last 'All Things Pig' but when it was so well received last time, why not serve it again? After all, I think that this event had perhaps been set up for those who had missed out the first time 'round as well as for those die-hard fans who simply love the food that Castellano so expertly creates, (I'm in the latter category if you hadn't guessed!)

At this point, it was agreed that the wait between courses thus far had been sufficient enough to ensure that we were not too full for the next! The palate-cleansing cheddar strawberry chilled vodka shot was also appreciated in this capacity. Our group noticed that the background music had become a little sporadic but with the excitable buzz from over one-hundred diners, this wasn't an issue! A tombola, with all proceeds going towards the church, was the focal point for this interval - although it was suggested that the prizes could have been a little better distributed.
Cheddar Strawberry Chilled Vodka Shot
The main course constituted a full-house of firsts for me having never tried any of the elements which made up this dish. Subsequently, I found the loin to be melting and delicious, the cheek, a little too rich for my palate but wonderfully tender nevertheless and the tongue, surprisingly my favourite part of this course, with it's subtle seasoning and the rich pull of it's texture. The accompanying sage polenta and braised chicory perfectly contrasted the richness of the porky trio, (although the latter had a distinct bitterness when initially sampled in isolation of the other ingredients).

Dessert came next and fortuitously sat at the far end of the third table, and last to be served, our group managed to score two puddings, the first served in a plastic pot (which we were more than happy with) and the second in an attractive glass dish. This therefore constituted two helpings of tangy rhubarb compote layered with a creamy white chocolate mousse – just divine. A buttery shortbread biscuit (which just melted in the mouth) and crumbled praline finished this dish. Not to mention the dark chocolate button brandished with the outline of a pig – no points lost for attention to detail!
White Chocolate and Rhubarb Mousse with Shortbread Biscuit
Again, there was a BYO drinks policy – this time, The Boy and I visited Bristol Cider Shop* for suitable accompaniments. We even got to sample a new creation from Pilton Cider* (not yet available to buy) thanks to Helen from Miller Design UK which, I can report, is wonderfully light with a refreshing apple fizz.

In conclusion, a fabulous evening of top-notch food, drinks-a-plenty, engaging company and within a setting that just exudes grandeur– for just £29.50, this really was a treat! Whispers of the next event are already doing the rounds on Twitter and so, if you haven't heard...All Things Italian will take place on Saturday 23rd July (venue to be confirmed) – it's certainly in my diary, I can't wait to see what culinary delights Castellano's will serve us up next!

*Yes, I have taken this from a film that I probably shouldn’t admit to knowing about but I considered it appropriate!
You can also visit Vincent at Bristol's Farmer's Market - every Wednesday on Corn Street, Bristol

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