Hot! Tattoo Inspired by French Salami Ad

Chef and owner of Acadia Bistro in Portland, Oregon, Adam Higgs creates some of the finest New Orleans cuisine on the West Coast. They use locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as exclusively U.S. wild-caught seafood from the Gulf coast and Pacific Northwest. Acadia utilizes regions of North America that are historically associated with the lands, descendants and culture of the former French region. It can also be used to refer to the Acadian Diaspora in southern Louisiana, a region also referred to as Acadiana. People living in Acadia, and sometimes former residents and their descendants, are called Acadians, later known as Cajuns, after resettlement in Louisiana. When Adam started at Acadia he worked side by side with a man named Bud DeSlatte, who taught him the regional dishes of New Orleans.

It’s no secret that the bodies of many Portland chefs carry permanent marks… other than burn scars. Chef Higgs added some ink to represent his love of pork. In an unusual event, chefs paired off with tattoo artists from four different Portland tattoo shops, each one adding a culinary tattoo and then that night, each chef prepared dinner for their tattoo artist, to pay tribute to their new ink. Hugg’s tattoo is inspired by an old French ad for salami. In the original ad, the ears of the pig were big and floppy and pointed down. At the time, Adam also had a Basset hound with similar ears, so he modified the ears a bit, so they didn’t look so sad! The tag line along the bottom translates to “feed you with pleasure without fatigue” and shows a pig graciously slicing himself to feed the people. Not a surprise that Chef Adam also makes his own sausage. They make andouille and boudin, as well as smoking and curing their own ham and bacon. I asked Adam if he was a pork fan, and he said, “ I have to be, if I own a New Orleans restaurant. Sausage is a mainstay in New Orleans cooking.” When I asked him if he could send me a picture of a favorite recipe, he said, “I have some pork belly cooking overnight in some duck fat, so I will get a photo out to you in the morning, as soon as it’s done.”

Note: It’s not difficult to find a chef today who doesn’t have a culinary tattoo, although it is not a requirement to work in the kitchen. Good luck finding a chef without a tattoo. Here’s to many more fun stories!

—Sara Patterson

White Buffalo Wine Bar & Bistro
4040 Westcliff Dr. Hood River, Oregon 97031
(541) 386-5534


Dry cure:
1 bunch fresh thyme
1t ground allspice
1T ground fresh garlic
1T ground black pepper
10 crunched up bay leaves
1c kosher salt
1/2 t pink salt
1/2 c brown sugar
6 pounds pork belly, skin removed, cut into 2 pieces, roughly 8c rendered duck fat or pork fat (lard) oil for frying

Combine all dry cure ingredients in a bowl and mix well. place pork belly in a non reactive sheet pan, and cover with dry rub, top and bottom. Wrap tightly and refrigerate 24 hours. Remove pork from pan and gently rinse off excess rub with cold water. Place in a deep baking pan and cover with duck/pork fat. Bake at 180 degrees F. for 12 hours. Remove belly from fat gently and place on a wire cooling rack. Refrigerate till chilled. Cut belly into 1″ x 2″ cubes. Pre-heat frying oil to 350 degrees and deep fry pork belly 6-8 minutes, or until crisp. Drain, and slice

—Adam Higgs
Chef/Owner Acadia Bistro
1303 NE Fremont Street
Portland, Oregon  97212

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