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Hog Heaven

Hog Heaven
October 2015
Circa 1886’s Marc Collins shares a trio of techniques for perfecting easy-to-find cuts

Dishing It Up with Chef Marc Collins
Circa 1886 and Kitchen 208

“I was a chef’s apprentice on a yacht called the Paradise II for a summer. It happened to be the sister ship to the Sequoia, which was President Kennedy’s yacht while he was in office.”

Three years vocational school in commercial foods and an associate’s degree from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts

“Peaches. I could eat them all day and never tire of that sweet flavor.”

RECIPE YOU'LL NEVER SHARE: “My mom’s chocolate chip cookies“ course, I will have to give that to my kids one day.”

At Keegan-Filion Farm, the livestock is treated a bit like family,” says Marc Collins, executive chef of Circa 1886 and Kitchen 208. “Marc and Annie Filion know each and every one of their animals. They are well looked after from the earliest stages of life, their diet and health closely monitored.”

Like many of Charleston’s best chefs, Collins rejects factory-farmed pork, preferring the Tamsworth hogs raised on the hoof in the Filions’ Walterboro pastures. He uses their flavorful meat in an array of ways and shares a trio of techniques employing three easy-to-find cuts: pork chops, pork tenderloins, and bacon.

Collins creates a brine for his pork chops with delicate sea salt and an orange pepper spice that is sweeter and more rounded than its lemon pepper sibling, but still retains a black pepper bite. Grilling the pork chops adds a smokiness that pairs perfectly with his cheesy squash casserole.

His Pork Tenderloin Char Sui adapts a Cantonese preparation for skewered pork cooked over a fire. “I like the barbecue you get at a Chinese restaurant, with the familiar red hue on the outside of the pork,” he says. “Here, the honey and hoisin meld well with the Grand Marnier and hot sauce, giving this dish an almost sweet and sour twist. Those flavors are balanced by the crispy, creamy rice-flour pancakes; the lemon-ginger glaze brings everything together.”

While bacon may be the most effortless part of the pig to cook, it can also be the most creative. Collins candies the slices, producing crunchy, rich bites that he says work as well in a BLT as they do as the topping for his sweet potato doughnuts. “These doughnuts are soft and chewy, with almost a butterscotch flavor once you glaze them. Top them with salty, sweet, smoky candied bacon and they are to die for.”

In addition to enjoying their products at Circa 1886, you may find Keegan-Filion Farm pork and chicken for sale at Stono Market and the Summerville and Port Royal farmers markets. The farm also has a meat share “CSA.” Visit their website at