Meet Bill Miner Chef and Owner of Il Porcellino, a salumari and market in the highlands neighborhood that is standing up big for pasture raised meat.
We spoke with Bill about what eating local means to him and Il Porcellino.
How does local food play a central role in your life?
I feel like I surround myself with local food, especially this time of year with all of the amazing produce available in Colorado. My wife and I have a vegetable garden, which provides herbs to the restaurant. We have 2 young boys, and like them to understand where their food comes from via our garden, as well as visits to local farms like Corner Post Meats and Ugly Goat Farm! We eat local and live local everyday.
How do your local food values show up in your business?
Everything at Il Porcellino Salumi that we can source from Colorado we do. There are a few exceptions like olive oil, nuts, and some produce when we’re not in the height of our growing season. We pride ourselves on sourcing 90% of what we use from within the state of Colorado. Every animal that we use was raised here, on a pasture, given a happy life and fed what it should be. We know our farmers and ranchers, and they are our friends. We our proud to use the term “Colorado Cured Meats”!
Who/which restaurants/farms/businesses inspired you to begin on your business’s journey?
I think there are couple of businesses that inspired us to open Il Porcellino. One is Boccalone in San Francisco. It is a salumeria owned by celebrated chef Chris Cosentino. Their cured meats are second to none and this is where I discovered Nduja, a spicy, spreadable salami. Also, Fruition Farms in Larkspur owned by Alex Seidel has been an inspiration. He is a true pioneer in Denver leading the local food movement. His dedication to raising his own livestock, growing his own vegetables and making the best sheep’s milk cheese I’ve ever tasted is extremely inspirational to me. Thank you Alex for what you’ve done for the Denver food scene.
What does the term “locavore” mean to you and do you consider yourself a locavore?
A locovore is someone who eats nothing but local food. I try my best to be one, but it’s hard in Colorado because of the growing season and the lack of seafood here!
Tell me one local food item you can’t live without?
One local product I can’t live without is the Shepherd’s Halo cheese from Fruition Farms. It is made by Jimmy Warren, the head cheese maker at Fruition, and it might be the greatest cheese on the planet. The richness of the sheep’s milk shines through in a creamy texture and ripeness from a bloomed rind. It’s unbelievable if you’ve never tried it, you can find it at Mercantile or we sell it at Il Porcellino.
Share one tip for someone who is interested in incorporating local food into their daily life.
My advice for anyone trying to incorporate local food into their life would be to know where your food comes from. Get to know farmer’s and ranchers. They are our friends and we pride ourselves on the relationships that we have built with them!