South Texas Heritage Pork presents the 1st Annual Heritage Hog Cook-off on May 20, from 2-8 PM.  VIP and general admission tickets for this event are for sale at their online store.  They can also be purchased at the Pearl Farmers Market, every Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM until they are sold out.  As this event approaches, I will be featuring posts on judges, contestants, and vendors.

Everyone who has ever named someone or something knows how difficult it can be to settle on a name.  I have met very few people who possess enough creativity, clarity, and decisiveness to quickly come up with a quality name.  Have you ever named an event, an object, a pet, or a child?  Chances are it took hours, days, weeks, or months of research, brainstorming and compromises to finally decide on an appropriate name.

When I was younger, I used to make up names for bands that didn’t exist.  For most of my high school years I was the front man for “Lethal Pee,” a band that had no members and existed only in my head.  Don’t ask me why I thought that “Lethal Pee” was a good band name, I just did; I still kind of do.

Now that I am older (definitely), wiser (maybe), and more mature (not according to my wife), I spend less time dealing with the imaginary and more time dealing with the concrete.  I no longer day-dream about names for bands that do not exist.  Instead, I fret about naming my child, blog posts and pets.  Recently, I have been racking my brain trying to help christen what I believe is going to be the South Texas food event of the year.  For the fans of this blog, who are also astute followers of South Texas Heritage Pork’s Facebook page you have witnessed the evolution of the event and its name.

In the last month what began as novel concept-celebrate local farmers, take a stand for real food, and support food education-has matured into the FINE SWINE COOK-OFF AND FLAVOR FEST.  So what’s in a name?  Let me break it down for you.

FINE SWINE:  There is no doubt in my mind that Mark and Kelley Escobedo produce the best pork this side of the Mississippi, maybe even the entire USA.*

COOK-OFF:  This event is a showdown.  An all out cook-off between two great institutions of culinary learning.  Young, up-and-coming culinary students, will be judged by rock star chefs Steven McHugh, David Gilbert, Chris Dunn, Michael Sohocki, and Jason Dady.  These are chefs who own, run, or write about San Antonio’s and the nation’s best restaurants.

FLAVOR FEST: At the heart of this event is a celebration of flavor; the distinct flavor of South Texas food, wine, beer, music, and culture.  Superior flavor that comes from chefs preparing dishes with quality local ingredients.  Ingredients that are harvested just days, and sometime hours before they are to be eaten.  Ingredients from produce and animals painstakingly raised by local farmers who are focused on quality, not quantity.

So, what’s in a name?  Apparently, when it comes to this event. A lot.

*Disclaimer: Since I have never eaten Joel Salatin‘s pork from his Polyface Farm, and because Mr. Salatin is a personal hero of mine, I am going to give him everything east of the Mighty Miss’.

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