In Charleston, when we talk about the Farm-to-Table movement, we’re usually discussing locally farmed produce and seafood, but did you know that at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room, we also use meat from local providers as well? One nearby hog farm is steadily becoming known for their natural approach to raising hogs, and the resulting unmatched flavor of the meat they provide. Carolina Heritage Farms, out of Pamplico, SC is our go-to when it comes to pork and we can’t say enough about the smart, simple way they raise their hogs, supporting local businesses and preserving agricultural heritage along the way.
Carolina Heritage Farms is run by Gra’ (“Gray”) Moore, a graduate of NC State University majoring in poultry science. He’s a veteran of the commercial poultry industry and a believer that bigger is not better when it comes to sustainable farming. 10 years ago he started his farm and has built it from there, standing firm on old-school, heritage farming practices and achieving amazing results.
Several hog breeds wander freely within the fence that surrounds the six acre farm. They move around in open pastures and wooded areas, foraging for acorns and other wild snacks to supplement their daily diet of natural feed, hay, fruits and veggies from a local stand and spent barley from a nearby brewery. Among the breeds he raises are the Berkshire, Guinea Hog, Red Wattle, Hereford and Ossabaw, each one unique in the flavor and texture of meat they yield. Once a hog is ready to be processed, they’re taken to local USDA and Animal Welfare approved processing facility, Williamsburg Meat Packing in Kingstree, SC where they are prepared to go out to restaurants up and down the Southeast. Breeding, raising and processing pork the way Carolina Heritage Farms does supports local businesses and it truly produces better meat. The evidence is in the ever growing number of restaurants that rely on Gra’ Moore’s farm for their pork supply.
Stars recently acquired a 111lb. Berkshire hog from Carolina Heritage Farms and Chef DiMaio has big plans for every part of the animal. Chief among his ideas for the hog are country ham, porchetta, crispy trotters, grilled pork loin and BBQ glazed ribs, but we can’t wait to see what else he has in store. Berkshire hogs are known for incredibly flavorful meat that’s high in fat content, which makes it great for high temperature cooking in the Stars Grill Room. Look for his creations on our menu and in upcoming specials on our Facebook and Twitter pages!