Sad news to report: Mark Newman of Newman Farm passed away earlier this week.
Newman was a familiar face at local farmers markets, where he, alongside his wife Rita, sold heritage Berkshire pork products sourced from Newman Farm in Myrtle, Missouri.
He was an enthusiastic supporter of the farm-to-fork movement, a generous participant in the annual snout-to-tail dinners at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Cochon 555 events, and a dear friend to many in the Memphis food community.
Newman Farm pork was known far and wide. From an October 2011 post in Memphis Stew:
Mark and Rita Newman are accustomed to celebrity customers. Chefs from New Orleans to New York feature the farm’s heritage Berkshire pork on their menus, including such luminaries as Momofuku’s David Chang.
Still, even the Newmans were flabbergasted to learn that their pork belly would be served to Barack and Michelle Obama at a well-heeled fundraiser in St. Louis catered by Kevin Nashan, chef and co-owner of Sidney Street Café.
“I saw the menu myself,” Mark Newman said a few days before the event, held Oct. 4 at the home of Tom and Lisa Carnahan. “I told Kevin, all I want is a menu signed by the president.”