Niman Ranch has celebrated its U.S. family hog farmers at the Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner every fall since 1998. In its sixteenth year this September, we’re continuing to celebrate the connection between our more than 650 family farmers and the chefs who honor them at this event.
We will feature six renowned chefs from across the country who share our passion for humanely and sustainably raised pork in their own cities and restaurants. Each chef will bring their expertise to the table with a “whole hog” and locally-sourced approach to create unique dishes that showcase our farmers’ hard work.
We love a Niman Ranch Rib Roast for the holidays, the tastiest centerpiece for your Christmas Dinner or New Years Eve celebration. This recipe was created by Niman Ranch Executive Chef Andrew Hunter. As with all our meats, the livestock are raised humanely and sustainably by family ranchers- this means no antibiotics- ever, and no added hormones- ever.
Many of our Niman Ranch employees are active in the livestock industry outside of work- whether volunteering with the local FFA or raising livestock themselves. Kay Cornelius, Midwest and Southwest Business Director, is one of those employees. This summer she participated in the Colorado Versatility Ranch Horse shows and was the novice champion.
Versatility Ranch Horse is not just one event, but a series of five separate events, “I like to think of it as a decathlon for a ranch horse/rider team” she says.
We have a committed and dedicated group of lamb ranchers who raise animals for Niman Ranch. The article below was recently published in Sheep Industry News, it gives the history of our lamb program and they gave us permission to share with you.
As the U.S. family farm disappears, we are proud of our young independent family farmers who raise livestock for Niman Ranch. They are committed to raising hogs sustainably and humanely while continuing the traditional farming practices handed down by their parents and grandparents. Meet Scott, a young farmer following the family tradition.
Chef Alex Yellan traveled from Brooklyn, NY, to cook at our 15th Annual Niman Ranch Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Meet Alex and, if in New York, stop by Pok Pok Ny.
Alex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where he started his culinary career as a brunch cook at his parents’ business. He attended University of Oregon where he began traveling abroad and learning about different cuisines of Mexico and Spain.
Following his passion for food, after graduating from college, he began working at DF Mexican restaurant in Portland, OR. But, the desire to travel quickly returned and he spent nine months travelling in Mexico, Central, and South America. Returning to Portland, he returning to DF Mexican, and helped open Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen.
Alex’s next move was to Alex Ricker’s Pok Pok in Portland where he worked for over a year before moving to New York City. In New York City he cooked seasonal American food at Back Forty and then returned to Mexican cuisine at Empellon Taqueria where he was on the opening team and sous chef.
Alex rejoined Chef Ricker after being asked to open Pok Pok Wing and then Pok Pok Ny where he currently works as Kitchen Manager overseeing the daytime prep.
We thank Chef Alex Yellan and his team at Pok Pok Ny for their support of Niman Ranch and our community of independent family farmers.
Chefs Jodie Rogers and Clark Norris joined us from Deer Valley Resorts to cook for our hog farmers at the 15th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. Meet them:
Jodie Rogers serves as the executive chef of Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges. Rogers’ job as executive chef entails operations of all Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges restaurants and food events, including banquets; breakfast and lunch cuisine at the day lodges; cuisine for the child care and ski school programs; après-ski appetizers in the Snow Park Lounge and the evening Seafood Buffet. In addition, she oversees all food and beverage operations at the Empire Canyon Grill including Fireside Dinning which is offered every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Rogers’ also spends her summers overseeing all banquets at the Resort.
That’s the mantra that celebrated Chef Kevin Sbraga reminds himself of daily to keep his focus on why he works in the competitive culinary world and what he wants to achieve.
“I’ve always made goals for myself,” says the chef, winner of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef: Season 7” and owner of modern American Sbraga in Philadelphia. “I put myself in positions that have room to grow. I’m not one to sit around and wait, so I make things happen on my own.”
In 2008, Sbraga—who had previously held positions in Atlanta and Philly kitchens—applied that philosophy to his consulting work with Jose Garces to test recipes for the chef-proprietor’s Latin Evolution cookbook. Sbraga impressed Garces with his dedication, which ultimately earned him a full-time role as culinary director of Garces Restaurant Group.
“I choose Niman Ranch pork not just for its marvelous flavor, but for the marvelous story it has to tell.”- Jack Riebel – Butcher & The Boar- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Executive Chef Jack Riebel combines over 20 years of leadership and experience in some of the finest restaurants in the Twin Cities including Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant (Minneapolis), La Belle Vie (Stillwater), Goodfellow’s – An American Restaurant (Minneapolis). Recent awards include Minnesota Monthly’s Food & Wine Experience Local Chef Challenge, The American Cheese Society Chef Cook Off and most recently a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest & Best New Restaurant.
Today, finely crafted food tuned to the Midwestern palate come together in Chef Riebel’s hands at Butcher & the Boar. With a love of seasonal foods and a touch of heat, Chef Riebel draws inspiration from food and drink found in regions across America. Born and raised in St. Paul, Riebel’s Minnesotan roots inspire handcrafted meals that are packed with flavor and served in a communal dining environment. Chef Riebel’s menu appeals to the cooler side of Minnesota, and we’re not talking weather.
We thank Chef Riebel and his team for their commitment to humanely raised meats.