Deconstructing Clyde Common's Crispy Pork Trotter

Chef Carlo Lamagna serves up his personal culinary history in a single decadent dish—hoof and all.

By Benjamin Tepler September 26, 2014 Published in the October 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

When chef Carlo Lamagna took over the kitchen at Clyde Common last spring, he began to nudge his customers beyond their comfort zones. Exhibit A: his mammoth, deep-fried pork trotter (that’s a fancy culinary word for foot). Some might find Lamagna’s "Crispy Pata" creation a bit grotesque, with its menacing curved claw, pool of macerated fruit, and often a hefty knife pinning the limb in place—but one bite of the crisped, salty skin mingling with tart, pickled peppers will set your taste buds reeling. “I want people to really get involved with the food, tear it apart,” Lamagna says. “Bring out the weird, man.

Image: Nomad

Crispy Pata, a.k.a. Pork Trotter: The main event, served hoof and all, is a tradition in Lamagna’s native Philippines, where pigs’ feet are deep-fried for special occasions. At Clyde Common, he removes the bones running through the leg, seasons the meat with fennel and coriander, and slow-cooks it overnight before dropping it in the fryer. That extra work allows less adventurous eaters easier access to the porker’s blissfully salty, fatty meat.

Seasonal Pickles: The dish’s briny elements are inspired by Lamagna’s time in the kitchen with Chicago chef Paul Virant at his Michelin-starred Perennial Virant. “Paul is the reason I’m an acid junkie,” Lamagna explains. In the fall, Lamagna turns to sweet banana and padron peppers, which he roasts and pickles for
an acidic punch.

Spätzle: Curls of garlic-fried egg spätzle, perfected during Lamagna’s apprenticeship at Hotel Spielweg in southwestern Germany, round out the rich dish with buttery comfort.

Stone Fruit aigre-doux: Preserved peaches and apricots, as well as apples, from Lamagna’s summer stockpile of canned fruits and vegetables lend a sweet counterpoint to the salty-sour notes.    

Clyde Common
1014 SW Stark St

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