Going Whole Hog at Trestle on Tenth

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For the fifth January in a row, Trestle on Tenth will be hosting its Swiss Metzgete, a carnivore's delight. Chef Ralf Kuettel spoke to us over the phone about the Jan. 12?21 event, in which every bit of the slaughtered pig is cooked and served.

What prompted you to introduce a Swiss Metzgete to Trestle on Tenth?

Ralf Kuettel: It brought me back to my childhood. I think it's a wonderful tradition we have in Switzerland. It's done in the colder months of the year when pigs get slaughtered, and Metzgete is the thing where you eat all the parts that you cannot pickle in brine or smoke or preserve in other ways. So the liver, the blood, the pork belly? People go crazy over it!

So five years ago, you guys were right on the cusp of the whole farm to table movement, weren't you?

We're a little bashful about it, but we definitely were right there. We just did it because our conviction, and we like doing it. [Swiss Metzgete is] a great thing to do after the holidays and people like to relax again and they like to come by with groups and experience Metzgete.

What do people request the most?

They come for the whole platter, and you really cannot choose what goes on the platter. It starts out with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut and various sausages, together with braised pork belly, braised pig trotters. And all that's being served with applesauce and horseradish. You get a plate with everything on it. So it's a healthy portion!

And what's your favorite dish from the Swiss Metzgete?

For me, it's the blood sausage. If done well, it cuts like a custard. So it's different than boudin noir, where it depends on the region and cabbage and braised pork parts in there. This one is just blood, cream and seasoning. So it cuts like a crème caramel.

Trestle on Tenth, 242 10th Ave. (at W. 24th St.), 212-645-5659, www.trestleontenth.com.

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