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Welcome to round ten of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in, too.
In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.
Our theme: pork tenderloin
When the digestif of Benton's pig fat and Eagle Rare bourbon arrived at the judges' table on Sunday evening, it was not the first pork-based beverage we had been served. That distinction went to the "fat washed" cachaça and pineapple cocktail (replete with lavender bacon skewer) mixed up by the night's champion, chef Brad Farmerie of New York City's Public restaurant.
Farmerie went trotter to trotter against four similarly pork-obsessed chefs to win the New York City leg of Cochon 555 - and a space at the trough for the Aspen Grand Cochon finals. Atlanta-based Brady Lowe established the competition in 2009 to raise awareness of farmers who were going to extensive lengths to sustainably raise "heritage" breeds of pigs - like the Duroc, Red Wattle, Mangalitsa and Tamworth - that have fallen out of favor with U.S. purveyors and chefs.
Not only are the pigs harder to get - they also take longer to reach slaughter weight and are often smaller than those that are raised on factory farms. Farmers who opt for these rarefied breeds generally feed their precious herds on an open-pasture diet, free from hormones and growth agents, akin to how the pig would naturally forage. The process tends to hog a whole lot of time and cash. So why the bother?
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