32.5 kilometres. That’s all it took Rino Bortolin to bring Berkshire pork from the farm the pigs were raised on to the plate he serves it on at Rino’s Kitchen in Midtown Windsor. And that’s including a stop at the butcher.
“That’s an amazing statistic that translates into glorious flavours,” Rino tells us.
The local Berkshire pork will be the focal point on a revamped menu that Rino says is a long time coming. His interest in local meats grew when WindsorEats introduced him to fellow member, Jamie Waldron of J. Waldron Quality Local Meats, and he says he’s finally reached a point where he can completely commit to using local meat.
“Having Jamie in the area has always been a reminder that using exclusively local meat was possible and always in the back of my mind,” says Rino. “We have always been keen on supporting local, both from a community building perspective as well as from a taste perspective.”
Rino’s decision to focus on pork was made because of the versatility in using 100% of the animal with techniques such as charcuterie, salumi, pate and others. While he says he will also be experimenting quite a bit to come up with unique dishes, you can plan to see grilled pork chops, schnitzel, roasted maple pork belly, pulled pork, and his special recipe sausages immediately.
“We have decided to concentrate on what we can do, and do well,” he explains. “Because of this there are some noticeable omissions such as chicken and beef. The menu will remain balanced and offer a lot of vegetarian options but a large component will be pork, lamb and rabbit.”
You’ll be able to taste what Rino has up his sleeve on Saturday, March 17, 2012, when Rino’s Kitchen celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with Pork-a-Palooza, which will showcase all the new pork dishes alongside the new menu.
“We’re very excited about this and hope that this is the first step in moving to an entirely locally sourced menu,” Rino says. “We are extremely lucky to live in such a great food and wine region. We need to celebrate it all and support it as much as possible.”