Pork is the hot protein. According to Technomic, pork is the fastest-growing protein in foodservice. Over the past two years, fresh pork has been driving that growth. On a pound basis, bacon grew the most (up 102 million pounds) between 2011 and 2013. The categories of carnita meat, shoulder/butt and pulled pork grew the most rapidly, with a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent, 6.6 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.  

The following recipes—featuring pork shoulder, pork butt and pork tenderloin—demonstrate the menu versatility of this popular meat. Chef Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago and host of Mexico—One Plate at a Time offers a south-of-the-border-inspired recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Avocado Apricot Salsa. Regional flavors abound in the recipes for grilled pork tenderloin fillets from Chef Eric Dreyer of Fearing’s Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, and the Honey Pecan Pork Loin with Dijon Cream Sauce idea from Chef Aaron Fidder of Machine Shed Restaurant in Appleton, WI. 

Also, check out the Northern California indigenous barbecue idea from Chef Stephen Barber of Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, CA.  His barbecue pork butt recipe, featuring blackberry and fig barbecue sauce, was created in response to a challenge issued to chefs participating in the Pork Summit 2013 hosted by The National Pork Board. Guest chefs created barbecue styles that represented the geography, flora, flavors and multicultural environments of their own regions. Other indigenous barbecue styles from the event included Bali Babi (Balinese Spiced Barbecue Pork Shoulder with Coconut Long Beans and Tomato Sambal from Chef Robert Danhi; Southern-Style Pork Butt with Sweet Potato Molé and Mississippi Delta Pork Hot Tamales from Chef Taylor Bowen Rickets of Delta Bistro in Greenwood, MS; and Mid-Atlantic Barbecue from Chef John Fink of The Whole Beast in San Francisco.

Recipes:

Wood-Grilled Berkshire Pork Tenderloin

Honey Pecan Pork Loin with Dijon Cream Sauce

Bourbon Milkshake

Northern California Barbecue

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado Apricot Salsa