The Swine and the Vine

Photos by Jill Thomas. left to right, top to bottom: Chef Rick Chow, Chef Ian Goard, Chef Goard slicing pancetta

“I dreamed of a better beverage,” says Emory Haines, Director of Operations at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria.

Emory grew up in a very small town in the Appalachians where his family often hosted animated pig roasts.  The pork was paired with his grandfather’s infamous whiskey.

When Emory left home he traveled the globe tasting and toasting with some the best wine producers on the planet.  He is passionate about  ‘the vine’ and enjoys attending and hosting wine makers dinners.   However one evening after several glasses of very good wine, it occurred to him that his childhood pig roasts were often more fun and thus the idea for The Swine and the Vine event emerged.

On the afternoon of Saturday July 17th, there will be a whole hog on a spit on the seaside terrace at the Hotel Grand Pacific.  The pork will be paired with BC wines, apple cider and mead.   Emory says, “The goal is to create a festive, informal fine food and wine event that gets people outside and away from the starched linens.”

The hotel chefs will be serving sustainable heritage Berkshire pork from Sloping Hill Farms in Qualicum Beach. Executive Chef, Rick Choy says, “The meat is juicier and has a lot more flavour than the pork you find in the grocery store.  When you eat it you’ll say wow.” This is the same pork that Choy serves up in his east meets west ‘Dim Sum and Then Some’ menu featured at the hotel restaurant every weekend.  Choy will brine the pig for three days prior to the event in sea salt, star anise, juniper berries, fresh herbs and lemon.

The roasted pork will be served fresh off the spit with a variety of house made sausages, terrines and pates.  Banquet Chef Ian Goard is thrilled that the event provided him the opportunity to try his hand at charcuterie.  There are currently five different types of meat curing in the hotel storerooms including Alsatian salami, Tuscan sausage, French saucisson and sopressata, a spicy Italian dry cured salami.  A pork belly has been cured into a savory sweet perfectly fattening pancetta.

Pork traditionally pairs well with apples and Food and Beverage manager Janis Goard will be pouring locally produced apple cider from Sea Cider. Cider is a fermented drink, like wine, but made from apples not grapes.  Sea Cider grows over sixty varieties of certified organic apples.  They also purchase fruit from a variety of local growers including a non-profit urban agriculture organization called Lifecycles that harvests apples from urban backyard trees that might otherwise go to waste.

If cider isn’t your cup of tea you can wash your pork down with honey wine, or mead, produced by the Tugwell Creek Meadery and Honey farm in Sooke.   If mead isn’t your thing you can enjoy an actual cup of tea from Victoria’s Silk Road Tea Company.  There will also be a variety of well-paired BC Wines to sample.

BY Jill Thomas, Editor of Island & owner of Rock Salt Restaurant and Cafe on Salt Spring Island

Swine and the Vine is one of many great foodie events taking place in Victoria between July 15th and 18th as part of Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine. Check out their website for event details and to purchase tickets.


Shredded Star Anise Pork in Puff Pastry

2lbs Slopping Hill pork butt

12 cups water

4oz sherry wine

1 cup soya sauce

2 Tablespoons dark soya sauce

2 Tablespoons salt

4 oz sugar

4 oz ginger

6 stalks green onion

1 Tablespoon five spices
2 star anise


Mix all ingredients and then braise with the pork until it is tender.

Let the pork cool and then shred with your hands.


Pastry Filling

25 pieces julienne shitake mushroom

8 oz julienne jicama

1 clove garlic

1 Tablespoon ginger

2 Tablespoons chopped green onion

4 oz of the braising liquid


Sweat the ginger and garlic, then add the mushroom , jicama and pork.

Add the braising liquid slowly allowing the pork to absorb the liquid.

Let the pork cool.


Puff Pasty

Cut out two circular pieces, each of them 3 inches in diameter, from a puff pastry sheet.

Put a Tablespoon of filling on one of the round pastry and close it with the other.

Egg wash the top and bake at 350 degrees until warm and golden brown.

Comments are closed.