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Mark Sandoval

Most Unusual Item in Postrio's Kitchen

    Mark Sandoval
Executive Chef Postrio

Always on the lookout for the hottest restaurants, ingredients and flavors, TravelsinTaste.com recently had the opportunity to chat with its resident garden fresh flavors expert, Executive Chef Mark Sandoval of Wolfgang Puck's Postrio in the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Having worked at such notable restaurants as the award-winning Carneros, located at The Lodge at Sonoma, The Harmony Club on the Plaza, also in Sonoma, and Joel Robuchon's The Mansion in Las Vegas, Chef Sandoval is known for his focus on freshness. In fact, he even has his own garden and has been known to share the fruits of his harvest with his restaurant guests. Because of his love for garden-fresh produce, Chef Sandoval is always on the lookout for new, unique ingredients for his menus. When we want the inside scoop on Vegas dining, therefore, he's the first person we ask. And ask we did -- about a particularly unusual item in his kitchen: Pepper the pig.

TravelsinTaste.com: What's the most unusual item that's made it onto the menu at Postrio?

Sandoval: Our most unusual item? Two years ago we bought a whole pig from La Quercia, which basically raises acorn-fed pigs. The deal they offered was: When you buy the whole pig, they butcher the pig and send you three or four items from it right away. They send you the baby back ribs, the head and then 40 or 50 pounds of scrap meat. Then, over time, they'll take the shoulders and cure those, then they'll take all the legs and make prosciutto, and then they'll do the fatback. Every couple of months they'll send you something else, and it's all from your pig. Our pig was named Pepper.

TravelsinTaste.com: Do you have anything left from the pig?

Sandoval: We still have one prosciutto, but we've used all the rest. It was great. We got eight or 10 different products, then we got the pork belly. Over time we used all of it; we featured it as a special item.

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