Go Hog Wild

Tasty San Antonio benefit serves up Carnitas for a Cause in support of local farm

San Antonio benefit serves up Carnitas for a Cause for local farm

Zanzenberg Farm San Antonio
What better way to support a local pig farm than with a Carnitas for a Cause benefit? Courtesy of Zanzenberg Farm

This summer, a local pig farm is hosting a benefit event that’s encouraging guests to pork out on some chef-created bites in support of the farm’s expansion.

Zanzenberg Farm, a family-owned sustainable farm located in Center Point and the only one in the area that specializes in craft pork and raising heritage pigs on pasture, will get an extra financial boost in the form of a virtual fundraiser called Carnitas for a Cause, scheduled for Sunday, June 13.

Organized by San Antonio nonprofit Chef Cooperatives, Carnitas for a Cause, as well as proceeds raised from a GoFundMe campaign, will enable Zanzenberg Farm to finish building its commercial kitchen, which will in turn help the farm expand its production capabilities, including adding charcuterie offerings.

As part of the event, pork lovers can pre-purchase a basket-style meal assembled by 13 local chefs and food-and-beverage producers, then scoop up the baskets (and some complimentary drinks) between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday, June 12, the day before the official event. Pickups will be at the Co-Op SA (11911 Crosswinds Way, unit 306) and Pint & Plow Brewing Co.

On event day, ticket holders can Zoom into the benefit and enjoy their basket of treats from the comfort of home during the virtual event from 1-4 pm. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased through Chef Cooperatives.

Food-and-beverage participants for the event include:

This will be the second remote benefit Chef Cooperatives has organized during the COVID-19 pandemic; the group showed support for Compost Queens with a similar benefit earlier in the pandemic.

“Hopefully, this will be our last virtual event,” says Paprocki, president of Chef Cooperatives, which works to support South Central Texas farms, ranches and vintners, and their communities. “We continue to appreciate our supporters and this is still a great way to have some safe stay-at-home fun, but there’s just nothing better than getting some fresh air on the farm.”

Zanzenberg Farm produces finished swine, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and flowers in a regenerative setting where trees are mixed in with other agriculture.

“We’re always super excited about sharing the type of agriculture we do with people because of the quality of food that it yields,” says Justin Graham, who runs the farm with his wife, Katye. “We’re also happy to partner with the Chef Cooperatives on this event. The work they do strengthens farms like ours. This will give us an opportunity to raise enough funding to renovate the space and bring it completely online as a commercial kitchen.”

Chris Cook of craft-tea company Special Leaf says the coronavirus pandemic has served up many challenges for culinary professionals, as well as the farmers and ranchers who help to supply them. He says that as the pandemic wanes and new food-and-beverage products, companies, farms, and ranches continue to re-open and pop up, boosting local products and companies will be crucial to the community’s revitalization and synergy.

“Food and beverage folks have a ‘no-quit perseverance soulfulness to them,” he says, “and when presented with a challenge, it’s embraced, nurtured and conquered.”