David Briggs: Portland's Pig & Chocolate Guru

Road Journals Blog—Restaurant chef-turned-chocolatier David Briggs is a mad man of pork. At Xocolatl de David in Portland, Ore., he mixes bacon into chocolate bars and pushes it to another stratosphere by adding everything from chicharrones to lard to pig blood in confections. He’s even concocted something called, “Foietella.’’ Yup, a foie gras and chocolate spread (7-ounce jar for $20) to slather on a baguette or croissant.

David Briggs, Xocolatl de David, Portland Oregon, image

David Briggs of Xocolatl de David gets wildly creative with chocolate. | Corey Shields

His nearly six-year-old company often partners with the pig-centric event, Cochon555, where chefs compete to make the best heritage pork dishes. That’s what prompted Briggs to develop an Iberico pig lard chocolate bar this year. Back fat from that specialty Spanish breed of pig is rendered into lard. Then it’s mixed into chocolate with a touch of sea salt.

“It’s got such a smooth mouth-feel. It’s not overly porky, and it has a nuttiness from the pigs eating acorns,’’ says Briggs, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, who was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I might continue making it on a regular basis, because as weird as it sounds, it’s one of the more approachable things that I make.”

David Briggs pig blood chocolate, image

Pig blood chocolate anyone? | Corey Shields

His more esoteric creations are made on a limited basis and available only through his website. But his Bacon Raleigh Bar (with bacon caramel and pecan chocolate nougat) can be found at retailers in Oregon, California, Washington state, New York, Colorado, and Texas that are listed on his online site.

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This blog post was first published in June 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.