Festa Mangalitsa at Il Gatto serves the pig, from snout to tail
Parasole calls the Mangalitsa "the fattest pig breed in production," which is a fine reason to have chefs Tim McKee and Jim Christiansen hold a Festa Mangalitsa at Il Gatto on May 17 at 7 p.m. It's an evening unsuitable for those who get timid at the thought of some unusual parts of the pig appearing on their dinner plate. However, it will be a fantastic night for folks who revel in the consumption of pork, in all its Italian iterations.
But where did they find the delicious creature that will be at the center of this celebration--and is there really poetry written in honor of the Mangalitsa that will grace Il Gatto's table?
The Mangalitsa that will make up this festa is fromProvenance Farms
, near Taylors Falls, which is owned and operated by a married couple, the Cruz-Joneses, who both work for Parasole. Stephen is a chef at Salut, and Christina is a manager at Il Gatto--that is. when they're not tending to their mob of delicious hairy pigs. These beauties have already passed muster with Lenny Russo, who has served Provenance Farms Mangalitsa at Heartland.
We've heard that the chefs have actually visited with their precious Mangalitsa. We believe it, as the Il Gatto folks have even gone as far as creating a poem for their pig. Parts 1 & 2 are on the resto's Facebook page so far...
The Pig that Stephen Raised (Part 1 of 7)
This is the farm that belongs to Stephen
This is his pasture fenced and even
And when summer days stretch longer and hotter,
There's mud and shade and pools of water
Word is that the 50 seats at Festa Mangalitsa are already sold out at $112.50 per person plus tax and gratuity, but there is a waiting list for eager optimists. It's BYOB, or guests can order from Il Gatto's wine list, and the service will be family-style.
Il Gatto's Festa Mangalitsa
Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.