Food Lover: Oliver Woolley, Pig Farmer

The owner of Peads and Barnetts supplies meat to chefs like Gjelina’s Travis Lett and Sqirl’s Jessica Koslow

No matter how hard he tried, Oliver Woolley just couldn’t stay out of the big business. Here, he talks about what lured him back:

“My whole life I was told not to go into the pork business. Both my grandfather and my dad were in the pig industry, so after college I moved to London to work in finance. Of course I couldn’t sit at a desk for another minute, so I left for culinary school and then assisted at Fergus Henderson’s St. John, where I learned about heritage breeds and European butchery. I remember the first time I tasted cured, smoked lardo from a Mangalitsa pig. And secreto, a tiny ‘secret’ cut from Spain’s Ibérico pigs. They were obscenely good, and I thought, ‘Maybe people would be into this in California.’ So as fate would have it, here I am, back in the pig business.”

Oliver Woolley is one of 25 L.A. “Food Lovers” featured in our November, 2014 Food Lovers Guide on newsstands now