The Fourth Leg: a lesson in pig butchery October 30, 3-7 PM

The Fourth Leg

a lesson in pig butchery on October 30, 2011, 3–7 pm.

Join Elaine Tin Nyo for an afternoon with butcher, Gaetano Arnone. During the course of the performance, artist and butcher will discuss our complex relationship to pigs and pork while he teaches you how to breakdown half a pig.

Utilizing the entire animal is just one way we show respect for the life of the animal. Since before the use of fire, butchers and cooks have been allies in this endeavor to feed ourselves mindfully. The performance coincides with the exhibition of The Three Legged Pig,* an art project (a four-channel video installation and artist’s book) that follows the artisanal slaughtering, butchery and charcuterie practices on family farms in Gascony.

Participants will leave with an understanding of pig anatomy as it relates to pork cookery and several traditional and not-so-traditional recipes.

For more information or to enroll, contact Elaine.
Participation and Materials: $135
Class is Limited to 10
Location: Downtown Manhattan

Purchase tickets through Paypal


Gaetano Arnone discovered butchery as a way to save money after his father took ill and he found himself running his family’s restaurant in Orange, California.   After studying under the guidance of Master Butcher Dario Cecchini in Tuscany, Gaetano returned to the states and is now the butcher at Dickson Farmstand in New York City, where he continues his goal of communicating to butchers and carnivores the traditions and craft that he has come to respect and love.


Elaine Tin Nyo is a conceptual artist and omnivore. Ms. Tin Nyo translates the tradition of genre painting into new media. Using performance, video, photography, cooking and writing, she reframes the everyday rituals of food and its preparation so we may reflect on the inherent beauty and value of the seemingly unimportant moments of our lives. In addition to her visual arts background, she has learned at the side of home cooks and restaurant chefs on three continents. Her art projects have been presented globally.

*The Three Legged Pig is on view as part of the exhibition, With Food In Mind at Center for Book Arts 28 W 26th Street 3rd Floor through June 25, 2011









Pea and Pig’s Ear Soup
serves 4

1.5 litres ham stock (preferably the water you boiled a ham in) or a ham bone plus a head of garlic
500g green dried split peas, soaked in water overnight and drained
2 pig’s ears (ask your butcher, these should not be hard to obtain; singe off as much hair as you can)
2 whole white onions, peeled
sea salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

If you’re using stock, bring it to the boil in a pan with the split peas, ears and onions, and then simmer until the peas are soft and cooked to a thick soupy consistency (approximately 3 hours). If it starts to get too thick add more stock or water. If you have a ham bone, just cover this with water, add your garlic, split peas, ears, and onion, and cook the same way as with stock, though it will probably need some skimming. Add more water if it is getting too thick. Season to taste. Remove the onions, and if you have taken that route the head of garlic and the ham bone.

Extract the ears from the soup, rinse them and dry them carefully. Allow them to cool and firm up, then slice very thinly. Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan (or deep fryer) and drop the ears in. Be careful, as they are likely to spit. When crispy remove from oil and lay on kitchen paper to drain off excess fat. Serve the soup hot. On top of each bowl place a cluster of crispy ear. If you have any boiled ham left you could incorporate small chunks.

Recipe from The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson