There are few dishes so good that they deserve a whole food truck devoted specifically to them. But then again, there are some that deserve not only their own truck but whole restaurants, even maybe museums. This is true of porchetta, the Italian ode to pork that Italy's Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies has designated as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (P.A.T.), or a regional food with protected status. It is this dish that will be the only thing Evan Funke serves at his new food truck. Bless him.
Funke says the porchetta food truck was his answer to impatience, really, since he's still waiting on the opening of his new restaurant Bucato, which is taking over the old Beacon location in Culver City, hopefully by the end of the year. Yes, that's only a few weeks away, but if you want to cook, you want to cook now. You also want to keep the chefs who are working with you cooking. Thus the truck, which will debut this Friday at Abbot Kinney First Friday in Venice.
Why porchetta? Other than the fact that it's a truly stunning dish, Funke says he fell in love with the dish (even more) while on his latest trip to Umbria, where he stayed at a particularly lovely village that had "Italy's answer to our food trucks," including one entirely devoted to porchetta. "Damn, that's a good idea," Funke said he thought at the time. Ta-da.
Funke's porchetta will be quite traditional, made from seasoned (garlic, rosemary, fennel, salt) heritage pork loin and pork belly and slow-roasted. The results will be sandwiched between locally made ciabatta, with pesto Modenese -- a glorious spread made from chopped lardo, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic and black pepper -- Tuscan olive oil, arugula and cracklings. Or, as Funke described it, "Pork on pork on pork."
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After this Friday's launch, the truck will make the rounds, on Olympic, in Santa Monica, in downtown L.A., and then it probably will be parked in front of the as-yet-unopened Bucato. You can track the truck via Twitter at @BucatoLA and via Evan Funke's Instagram.
Funke says that he thinks the truck will be operational for only the next five weeks or so, until Bucato is up and running. After that, you'll be able to order porchetta at the restaurant, so the truck will be retired, as Santa does with that sleigh after Christmas. Right. Maybe we can start a petition to keep it operational, like right now. (Sign up in the comments.)
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