This weekend we ventured off to a land we rarely visit and regret not visiting more often. We traveled from one island to another and thoroughly enjoyed the journey on the water. From Manhattan to Staten Island, we traveled via the Staten Island Ferry to visit Pig Island. The event began as part of the farm-to-table movement and supports sustainable practices with a focus on pork and piggies.
By providing NYC Chefs with pigs purchased directly from small farms, Pig Island aims to educate consumers and serve delicious food! Jimmy Carbone, Co-Founder of the event has worked to uphold the vision for Pig Island, expanding the event’s reach, growing relationships with more farms and chefs, working with community partners like Friends of Firefighters.
We have been attending for years and look forward to it every year. The event has historically taken place in Red Hook Brooklyn where we would also ferry over. However, this year the venue was in the borough of Staten Island. We were hesitant about the change at first but fell in love with the space upon arrival.
The 2020 installment of Pig Island was hosted at the extremely spacious Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Snug Harbor is a collection of architecturally significant 19th-century buildings in Staten Island, New York City. The buildings are set in an 83-acre park along the Kill Van Kull in New Brighton, on the North Shore of Staten Island. Local activists and artists worked with elected officials in the early 1970s and persuaded the City of New York to purchase the property, with the objective of transforming it into a public cultural resource. In 1975 the not-for-profit Snug Harbor Cultural Center was formed to operate the buildings, and the Staten Island Botanical Gardens managed the gardens. The two organizations merged in 2008 to form Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.
The garden is gorgeous, serene and the perfect place for a BBQ! The all-inclusive picnic featured barbecue all-stars like Tank Jackson of Charleston’s Holy City Hogs, Trevor Kunk of The Little Beet, Mario Chape of Big Papa Smokem, Jase Franklyn of Jase BBQ, and Mike Lapi, a chef, farmer, and butchering instructor at SUNY Cobleskill. There was also brew served by Sixpoint and Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery, cider, spirits and delicious side dishes like Geechie Boy grits with shrimp. Always an epic culinary adventure and kudos to Jimmy for another banger despite the pandemic. Can’t wait til 2021!