Five Finds on Friday: Clay Trainum

by Charlottesville29

At Autumn Olive Farms, New World Iberico via the Canary Islands to Ossabaw Island, GA

At Autumn Olive Farms, New World Iberico via the Canary Islands to Ossabaw Island, GA

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Clay Trainum of Autumn Olive Farms, the Waynesboro farm whose goats and pigs are served at top restaurants throughout the area.  Just yesterday, Clay delivered a very special Ossabaw pig to MAS Tapas, modeled after the famous Iberico de Bellota, raised on plants, fruits, rich dark soils, and, most significantly, nuts like black American walnuts, hickory nuts, and white, red and black oak acorns.  “Throw in year-round sunshine,” said Trainum, “and you have a world-class product both for fresh preparations but even more so for curing applications.” So, what magic will MAS’s Tomas Rahal create with this special pig?  “Nearly three years of intentional management and superior genetics will allow the pig to go in any direction,” said Trainum, “with no reservation or limitation as to the final product.”  Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, Trainum’s picks:

1)  Tasting Menu at Zynodoa Restaurant. “The rare meal where every BITE is superb. This has been our go-to place for very special occasions.”

2)  Datil con Tocino at MAS Tapas. “The first time we had these was at MAS and I can still smell, taste, savor and remember every bite! It is, perhaps, the perfect bite.”

3)  Kettle Corn from King’s Gourmet Popcorn.  “Best ever, every time! Buy the $7 bag and see if you can make it last to Richmond. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!”

4)  NY Pizza and Steak Special at Ciro’s Pizza.  “IMO, the best ever. We have been going since they opened in the 1970’s and, although I am actively searching, I have not yet found a better pizza or steak special anywhere on this planet. That includes specific searches in NYC and Philadelphia earlier this year.  We actually have our own special off-menu pizza at Ciro’s we call the Sardinia. If you request it you have to use the right language. Clay and Linda’s Sardinia pizza.”

5)   Boer Bok Goat Meatballs and Pork Belly at Parallel 38.  “A shameless plug because Chef Alfredo and the staff take products we are proud of and run them up to the top of the flag pole for everyone to experience with maximum effect. They made all of us all proud at the James Beard House in 2014.”