Take a break from that kale for a moment, put down that juicer, slowly walk away. And Reserve your bike at a spin class because I am taking you to the Bacon land.
I’ve been ‘stalking’ Chef Pink (Crystal DeLongpre-her real name, not people don’t know about.) since her ‘Square One’ days. I followed her to soul food festival, supper club which I blogged about and to her TV appearance on Food Networks ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’. I always wanted to be updated where she was at. Because I LOVE her food! Seriously, I think she is one of the most talented chefs I’ve met so far.
Looking at her beautiful wedding photos with her long time partner/now wife Courtney Rae and more photos of their new shop in Solvang, Bacon and Brine, in social media, I realized it was about time for me to drive up and see them. You know they say it’s hard to hit a moving target, but now she finally finds peaceful Solvang her home where meats, vegetables, fruits and wines are overflowing, it wouldn’t be too hard to find her. What a perfect place for her to settle in.
Bacon and Brine, located in Atterdag Square, is super cute, dainty sandwich shop with not so dainty menu. Chef pink breaks down and smoke the whole pig herself, while Courtney does the brining/fermenting of all kind of vegetables. And the two together create this delicious and creative sandwiches everyday. It’s not easy to find really good and flavorful pork here in US, but I love gooooood pork whenever I can get a hold of it. Nothing tastes better than good flavorful pork with just soy sauce and ginger(aghh the asian in me…) Chef pink sources the pigs locally from 4 different farm, all of them raised organically, pasture raised, grass fed, responsible and humanely treated. When I write, I try to spotlight the chefs, and chef Pink always spotlights the farmers and ranchers. (Check out the farmers and ranchers that bring delicious goodies to her in her website, baconandbrine.com)
There she is, in the back cooking up bacon, probably the thickest one I’ve ever seen and that awesome tattoo! Yay chef pink! I missed you. Front of the house, the queen of brining and fermentation, The wifey, beautiful Courtney Rae in her signature pinup hair and polka dots dress. These two are so cute together, makes me want to squeeze them both together.
Menu changes daily. So don’t ask why and what, and don’t ask for a substitution. There is a deli across the street. It’s chef pink, so trust her.
Today’s sandwich I had was ‘Not So Ramen’ -bacon dashi braised belly, 65’C egg, smoked house sriracha and cilantro. I’m telling you it’s a messy business. Make sure your wipe your hands with baby wipes before you touch your steer wheel. Oh and yes did I mention a spin class?
Tête-à-tête sandwich tasted lovely with Courtney’s delicious pickled onions.
Ok, I see this big jar of Kimchi she made. As a korean, when I see it, I just know if it would taste right or not. After one look at it, I knew it was legit. Then I looked at the label on the jar and it’s named ‘Legit Kimchi’. Great minds think alike.
It ain’t’ a fancy restaurant making sea urchin ice cream, but Chef Pink’s talents still shines through. Talent is talent is talent. And they are both glowing with happiness. As a fan and friend, I couldn’t be happier. Rock and roll, Chef Pink! Big congrats.
As my friend, Kathleen and I drove back down to Santa Barbara, we stopped for a glass of Lambrusco(lovely italian sparkling red wine) to tame our, literally, pork bellies. What a fun little lunch trip….nah, forget the spin class. I may go for another glass of Lambrusco instead.