Joran Keao, ‘āina restaurant, San Francisco 

Chefs are the creative tastemakers of the Cochon555 tour. As part of our new Spotlight series for guests past and present, we take you behind the scenes for a Q&A with those who provide the delicious bites for our competition. Meet Chef Jordan Keao from our San Francisco  event.

Can you give us a quick rundown of the theme behind your winning Cochon555 menu?

Our theme for the menu we choose for Cochon was to highlight the Hawaiian culture and the cultures of Hawai’i while showing our versatility, skill and love for pork. We served, lau lau, Kalua pork, Blood pudding chichi dan-go, Korean Style Blood sausage and Char Siu Pork loin.

Why is  heritage breed pork special for you – and how would you describe its flavor to the uninitiated?

I am a huge fan of heritage breed pork because of its flavor and superior quality. I always focus on the amazing difference in taste and even the health benefits in a naturally raised animal.

Choose your best pork memory and describe it for us.

The best pork memory I have is my son’s first birthday luau in hawai’i, when my uncle prepared an Imu and cooked the pig from start to finish just for this special occasion. The flavor of an Imu is so unique yet so ancestral for humans. It always brings back memories for me that make me reminisce.

Join Chef Jordan at Grand Cochon on October 1st in Chicago as he represents San Francisco! Don’t sleep on the best party of the year!