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Duroc pig

About US

About US

Felix Florez
MEET THE OWNERS

Felix Florez

FELIX FLOREZ was born in McAllen, TX into a farming and ranching family that specialized in livestock with some seasonal South Texas crop work as well. At a young age Felix developed a love for cooking and exploring the culinary arts. Florez's mother encouraged his culinary talents and even toured Texas with him, in an effort to broaden his cooking abilities (much like a young chef "back packing through europe and staging at various restaurants). From the moment he was 14 yrs old, Felix found his way into the food service industry, becoming an expo and host and eventually a waiter at Houston area restaurants. The goal of mastering all positions within a restaurant setting quickly progressed as Felix became a sommelier and soon purchased his first restaurant. This French/Belgian bistro, was purchased by Florez at the tender age of 19, Felix insisted on spending months in each and every position at this Austin, TX restaurant, while attending college, before taking it over completely from the original owners.

After 7 years Florez decided not to renew his lease at the restaurant in Austin and relocate to Houston to find a suitable location to reopen. During the search to reopen in Houston, Felix had his first son and decided that opening a new operation wasnt the best plan for that moment and decided to manage at some of the finest restaurants in Houston, including Brennan's of Houston. While there, Felix couldn't help but notice that the high quality ingredients being utilized in the kitchen were produced all over the nation, but few were from Texas. Recognizing this opportunity, Felix formulated a plan: to bring the expressive flavors of Texas' grand livestock to Houston restaurants.

In 2009 Felix drove all over the nation to find a unique selection of heritage breed hogs for breeding and decided to raise them humanely, in a free and open setting, allowing them to enjoy the land and to partake in a natural diet. As Black Hill Ranch was born, Felix's reputation gained speed, and restaurants quickly realized the quality and expressive flavors of the meat he was offering. His business boomed and he leveraged the opportunity to take his business to a national level. Felix, unknowingly, had stumbled upon the farm to table movement right at its' inception and has helped to propel it into the spotlight in the Houston culinary community. Since the beginning of Black Hill Ranch, Felix and his partners have founded Texas Ranchers Network, Ritual Restaurant, Blood Bros. BBQ Bellaire restaurant, True Texan Honey, Jefferson County Rice Co., Cherry Block Seasonal Kitchen and Cherry Block Texas Market. MyTable magazine awarded Florez the coveted Houston Legends award and was given October 2 as Felix Florez Day in Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner, for his achievements in the Hospitality world. Red Field Ranch is the newest project and very exciting, not only is this ranch a life long dream come to life, but Florez gets to work with his partner and longtime friend Dr. Ben Cilento to make one of the most intensive and thoughtful heritage breed operations in the country. Together Florez and Cilento will create a true World Class product that is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world!

Ben Cilento

BEN CILENTO MD MHA is a Houston area physician with a love for Texas agriculture and a passion for farm to table living. His mother’s family has a long history of farming, raising cattle and working with racehorses in Brisbane, Australia. His family emigrated to the US in the early 1970’s and moved around quite a bit for the better part of his upbringing. After finishing 21 years in the US military, (as a physician) he moved permanently to Texas in 2010 and has made Houston his home. Driven by a deep respect for the land, Ben has dedicated his life to restoring the age-old bond between rancher and the table, transforming ordinary meals into immersive culinary experiences. 

Embracing sustainable and regenerative practices, he teamed up with legendary Pig farmer Felix Florez (the Pork King) to form Redfield Ranch in the lush rolling hills of Washington County.  With a spirit as untamed as the expansive Texas prairie and a passion for marrying the rustic charm of ranching with the sophistication of farm-to-table dining, Felix stands as an esteemed pioneer in the realm of sustainable food practices. At the forefront of Redfield Ranch, Felix and Ben exemplify the harmonious fusion of traditional Texas ranching and the contemporary farm-to-table movement by breeding the rare Iron Age Hog. In this case, A careful combination of champion Duroc genetics and Red Mangalitza, the Iron Age Hog is recognized as one of the best breeds due to its marbling and intense flavor. Red Field Ranch also works with other heritage breeds such as the Ossabaw Island hog, Berkshire, Large Black and The Spanish Iberico

Ben understands that raising healthy, happy animals is integral to preserving the delicate balance of nature and ensuring the authenticity of farm-to-table living. As a steward of the land, he ensures that each animal's journey from pasture to plate is marked by compassion, respect, and dignity.

Beyond the boundaries of Redfield Ranch, Ben tirelessly advocates for the farm-to-table movement as part of an overall approach to health and wellness that Dr Cilento has championed in his other health related businesses. Ben and Felix weave together the stories of passionate ranchers and dedicated chefs in support of a more sustainable and conscious approach to food. Their work serves as an inspiration to those who share their vision of reconnecting with our roots and embracing the inherent harmony between nature's abundance and the joy of dining.

Ben Cilento and Redfield Ranch have created a perfect balance of the traditions of Texas ranching and the finest and freshest ingredients! Every bite tells a compelling tale of respect for the land and a deep reverence for the culinary arts.

BEN CILENTO
Iberico-Pork

Iberico Pork

The Iberian Hog is an ancient breed of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) from the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian pig or Iberico, is thought to have originated in the Neolithic era, when animal domestication started. They are found primarily in Spain and Portugal, but have very recently been imported to the United States through Texas and have also made their way to Florida and Georgia. The original herd imported into the USA has been divided a bit, but mainly remains in Central and East Texas, including the herd managed by Red Field Ranch.

Its believed that the pigs were first brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Phoenicians and where crossed with wild boars. These crossed hogs are the ancestors of todays Iberian pigs. The Iberian breed, sometimes called the Pata Negra is an example of a domesticated breed that thrives in an outdoor setting where they can enjoy the lands resources, such as acorns, grasses and other foliage.

The numbers of the Iberian breed are scarce since 1960 due to several factors such as the outbreak of African swine fever and the publics lack of knowledge of the many uses for animal fats. In the past few years, however, the production of pigs of the Iberian type has increased to satisfy a renewed demand for top-quality meat and cured products.

This traditional breed exhibits a good appetite and propensity to accumulate intramuscular and epidermal fat. The high intramuscular fat is what produces the typical marbling; this, together with traditional feeding based on an outdoor diet, is what makes its meat taste so special. The common argument worldwide is whether or not the Iberico or the Mangalitza is the King of pork, however there is more common knowledge of Iberico and its also being called the Wagyu of pork.

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