Santa Ynez Chefs Sourcing KuneKune Pork

KuneKune pasture raised pork

We love KuneKunes and are thrilled that Farmstead visitors can share our joy of raising them. With the help of Jake from Valley Piggery and Lori from the Kunekune Registry, we established a model focused on creating awareness for this once endangered breed. Each of our pigs are raised for either local families looking to start their own herd, or to provide premium pork for restaurants.

Regardless of their purpose, each pig is named and cared for in the same way, happily living on our hillsides, socializing with visitors, and eating a plethora of organic produce. We are proud to raise them in a sustainable way and are grateful to the local community for being so receptive. Since we established this model last Summer we have helped several farms start their own KuneKune herd. Also, our favorite restaurants are fulfilling orders and creating thoughtful dishes highlighting this heritage breed. The love and respect for these animals does not end on the farm. Below are four Chefs we delivered to last week and the KuneKune dishes they were inspired to create.

KuneKune pigs in Santa Ynez

Clark is the owner and self-taught Chef of his organic destination that is the epitome of “build it and they will come.” Along with Flatbreads he has specials that change nightly made with ingredients peaking in flavor. He created three mouthwatering specials with our KuneKunes; a pappardelle pasta with eight-hour braised pork cheeks and tree mushrooms, a nightly flatbread special with adobo style al pastor, and a double pork chop with Friarelli peppers.

Clark Straub Full of Life Foods
KuneKune pork chop Full of Life

Close your eyes and point to any item on their ever-changing butcher paper menu and you will be smitten by a creative dish bursting with flavor. Order at the counter, grab a seat at the communal tables and relax with locals and visitors alike knowing you all share the common ground of loving seasonal food. Out of our recent delivery, Jeff will make four little prosciuttos, lots of finocchiona, Salami Cotto, and several patés. If you are interested in learning the heritage skill of butchering and curing, Jake from Valley Piggery and Jeff team up each month to offer a two-day Pig Butchery workshop.

Industrial Eats Deli Takeaway
KuneKune Charcuterie made by Jeff Olssen

When it comes to loving local, we don’t know any restaurant that sources more local than the ladies at Bacon & Brine. Every ingredient they use is sourced from within 60 miles of their restaurant. With their KuneKune pig, Chef Pink made a beautiful pistachio and fennel “fromage tete” or head cheese. She works feverishly in her tiny kitchen butchering, smoking, and curing every pig they buy while Courtney creates all the fermented delights; pickled veggies, sauerkraut, kim chi and Kombucha. Together they are Bacon & Brine.

Chef Pink Bacon and Brine
Chef Pink Bacon and Brine

We call him Grande and he calls everyone else Mama or Papa. Chris Shertzer is self-trained in Italian Salami and works alongside Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini. While preparing cured meats, everyone gathers around like an Italian family to help, chatting away while stringing up the precious delicacies. This time he plans to use a very subtle spice blend allowing the pork’s natural flavors to shine in his Capicola, Pancetta, and Sopressata.

Chef Alessandro Cartumini
Four Seasons Bella Vista Restaurant

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For more information about Folded Hills Kunekunes, for either pork or pasture, email us at or stop by the Farmstead to meet our herd.

©photos by Folded Hills, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Refugio Paso Robles, Trine Bell Photography and

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