Cook Pigs Ranch is a proudly family-owned, farm-to-table operation with a focus on Heritage pigs. The varieties include Red Wattles, GOS, Large Blacks, Berkshires, Durocs, Tamworth, Mulefoot, and crosses of these magnificent breeds. Cooks also raises KuneKune pigs. The ranch is located in Julian, CA, in the Cleveland National Forest, about one hour East of San Diego.
Cook Pigs Ranch is not a large commercial farming / ranching business. Instead their goal is to maintain a small and boutique ranching operation which allows their pigs to free-range and grow slowly in a humane and stress-free environment.
Krys and Mike Cook are the co-Presidents of Cook Pigs, and they run the day-to-day operations of the ranch.
Duskie was actually a vegetarian for 23 years while she was a working chef and butcher. She is very concerned about the welfare of the animals her family raises for the restaurant. As she likes to artfully put it, “They have a very happy life except for one day.”
They are very proud of the Black Pig Meat Co. bacon sourced from two varieties of heritage pigs raised on their farm.
“Most bacons you find on the market are wet cured injected fast and smoky from liquid smoke in a process that takes less than a day. We slow down and make sure it tastes good and the animals are treated right. Our Bacon is dry cured with brown sugar for up to 21 days and then finished with applewood smoking for about 12 hours. We are focused on quality not quantity.”
“The result is a bacon that is perfectly balanced in salt, sweet, and smoke; complex from the brown sugar and real wood smoke; and one where you can taste the quality of the pork.”