COCHON US TOUR & GOOSE ISLAND BEER CO. HUMBLY PRESENT COCHON555. Over 11 tons of heritage pork raised by family farms will be served across the country in a nose-to-tail touring culinary competition. Five local chefs will each be given a 200 pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. Going on its sixth year, Cochon 555 is the nation’s premier culinary tour touting the flavor and benefits of eating heritage breed pigs. The kickoff event features an all-star lineup of five chefs, five pigs and five wineries to celebrate breed diversity, family farming and food enthusiasts.
This year’s competing chefs include Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar and Dena Marino of MC Kitchen. The five chefs, champions to the pig, will battle it out in a friendly competition by preparing a maximum of six dishes each created from one whole heritage breed pig to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. Jason Pringle of db Bistro Moderne will also prepare a feature sixth pig.
Host Chef Aaron Brooks, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Miami, will lead the pack of judges in selecting Miami’s “Prince of Porc.” Other notable judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken following the release of his new book, No Experience Necessary. The winner will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June for bragging rights as the “King or Queen of Porc” and a four-day wine experience to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
“Heritage Breed Pigs celebrate the history of the animal and this humane treatment is something all chefs should be behind,” states Jose Mendin. “I grew up on an island where this practice is normal and eating pig is an essential part of the culture, so it just seems the only way to me. As for the event, I’m so excited to compete, I can barely stand it. Such a great line-up of chefs; I’m eager to see what everyone puts out. Game on.”
A 1200+ pound showcase of heritage pig carved into 30 chef-prepared dishes will also include: “The Goose Nest,” an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras; live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop with Thomas Griese of Michael Mina 74, benefitting Johnson & Wales University with the support of Williams-Sonoma; different ages of Prosciutto di Parma ranging between 14 and 30 months, sliced by a roaming Berkel and by hand off a bone-in leg; the “Punch Kings” cocktail competition featuring five local barkeeps presented by Breckenridge Bourbon; a welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon; the Bourbon Bar presented by Breadcrumb by Groupon featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo; libations including Crispin Cider, Wines of Rioja, Elk Cove Vineyards, Barlow Vineyards, and a Mezcal Bar with Fidencio and Mezcales de Leyenda; a TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms; an artisan cheese bar with Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery; Swine & Sweets signature dessert course featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
Defending his title from last year, Host Chef Aaron Brooks will kick off the weekend on Friday night with a guest chef dinner at EDGE Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons. Event judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken following the release of his new book, No Experience Necessary.