Fergus Henderson makes The Big Issue go the whole hog!
This week in The Big Issue, I was sent to eat pigs’ innards. Admittedly, I was incredibly squeamish at the prospect; the photographer Louise seemed quite relieved that it was me doing most of the eating and not her!
But, as she reassured me, I could not be in a better place to eat offal – St John restaurant and its wonderfully eccentric founder Fergus Henderson have convinced legions to try out their philosophy of eating the whole animal.
Fergus is a phenomenon himself – ever so polite and wonderfully expressive, he ruminated on his answers to my many questions over a coffee and some Fernet Branca, an aromatic digestif that he calls ‘his medicine’.
He came up with some absolute gems: “A pig’s head is perfectly nice for two because you both have one cheek – it’s all heady, heady stuff.” He also commented, “Tripe uplifts and soothes at the same time; it picks up your spirits and strokes you as it goes through you.”
The idea of eating the under-used and cheaper cuts of pork could not be more timely, as the National Pig Association warned last week that we would experience record prices in 2013 for bacon and sausages, due to a combination of new EU regulations on pig welfare and bad harvests for their feed.
But Fergus knows that we just won’t venture on to the lesser eaten morsels of a pig unless it’s really delicious. And it was.
The photographer, Louise Haywood-Schiefer, has posted some great pics from the shoot on her blog which you can see here: http://lhschiefer.com/blog/fergus-henderson-for-the-big-issue/
To read more of Emma Field's trip to St John, see this week's Big Issue, on sale until September 23