Wednesday 21 March 2018

Fat chance to put pig's head in poitin on menu

Kevin Thornton holds a pig’s head next to a satirical self-portrait 'Obeast' by Rachel Herrick.
Kevin Thornton holds a pig’s head next to a satirical self-portrait 'Obeast' by Rachel Herrick.
Michelin Star Chef Kevin Thornton holds a pigs head from his installation "Pig Heads in Poitin at Science Gallery at Trinity College. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

PRESENTED on a plate at Thornton's Michelin-starred restaurant, it looks delicious.

Now, acclaimed chef Kevin Thornton has taken pig's head with poitin sauce and given it a whole new reconstruction for an exhibition on fat in the Science Gallery at Trinity College.

It might look a little less refined but Mr Thornton is happy to stand over the results, saying the taste is "superb".

He has taken the meat and fat from the heads of 24 pigs and put them stewing in a vat of alcohol.

"It's a banquet," he said.

The idea came to him in his younger days because pig's head was a regular dish on the family table growing up – but Mr Thornton felt it "lurch" in his stomach as it was so heavy.

By marinating it in alcohol, the result is a much lighter dish.

"It's something we've been doing for years. The taste is superb," he said.

He now wants to know the process behind it.

Visitors to the new exhibition are invited to watch the preservation experiment marinate over the course of time and then taste the results in a fat feast finale.

Mr Thornton said he likes the science aspect of food.

"I am interested in understanding how the alcohol breaks down the fat over time and what happens to it," he said.

"Everything is about time, temperature and control."

The exhibition also features soap made by Miami-based artist Orestes De Le Paz using his own fat, extracted during liposuction, along with a host of other shudder-inducing experiments, demonstrations and tastings to show how we all use and need fat.

Professor Cliona O'Farrelly who is co-curating the show with Professor Luke O'Neill, both of Trinity Biosciences Institute, explained that the exhibition highlights why we need fat and how we can benefit from it.

Irish Independent

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