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. In each city, five local chefs will each be given a 200 pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. A panel of 20 expert judges and guests of the event will vote for the city’s “Prince or Princess of Porc.” The winner from each city goes on to compete for top honors in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June. The winner of the finale receives bragging rights as the “King or Queen of Porc” and a 4-day wine experience to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
This year’s competing chefs include Michael Rotondo of Parallel 37 at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco – Official Host and Hotel of the event Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen, David Bazirgan of Dirty Habit, Kim Alter of Plum and Mark Liberman of TBD. 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. Thomas McEntee of 4505 Meats will butcher a pig for the audience and Dennis Lee of Smokestack and Namu Gaji will prepare an additional late-night sixth pig.
“It is a true honor to host this fantastic event that showcases so many talented chefs paying homage and respect to a product that is often overlooked,” said Nathan Beriau, Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. “At our Nob Hill landmark hotel, I am passionate about serving food and beverage featuring local and sustainable ingredients for our guests and strengthening our relationships with local farmers every day. It is a privilege to host this event to raise awareness and highlight this wonderful breed. I look forward to an exciting evening celebrating exceptional culinary talent and cuisine.”
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, benefitting Le Cordon Bleu 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. There will be a VIP exclusive tasting of the “Punch Kings” cocktail competition featuring five  five local barkeeps in the “Punch Kings” Competition presented by Breckenridge Bourbon barkeeps can sign-up here. There will be 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 Ciders, Wines of Rioja, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Cornerstone Cellars, Colene Clemens Vineyards, 4Play Wines, Elk Cove Vineyards, and a Mezcal Bar featuring Fidencio and Mezcales de Leyenda; a TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms with Matthew Accarrino of SPQR; an artisan cheese bar with Mission Cheese featuring Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery; Swine & Sweets signature ice cream course presented by James Beard award-winning Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
In addition to 30 chef-prepared dishes, guests can experience The Goose Nest, an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras. A welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon. Live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, benefitting the local culinary school. 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 event also features  five local barkeeps in the “Punch Kings” Competition presented by Breckenridge Bourbon barkeeps can sign-up here. A Perfect Manhattan Experience featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo. Libations include the portfolio of Crispin Ciders table featuring Wines of Rioja, and four others tba, and the infamous Mezcal Bar featuring Fidencio and Mezcal de Leyenda. CHEF tbd will be hand-chopping at the TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Beef. Start with Rappahannock River Oysters, the Cheese Bar including Rogue Creamery and the artisan breads of La Brea Bakery. Right before announcing the winner and heading to the after party, guests will enjoy family meal, an entire 6th heritage breed pig prepared prepared in a Late-Night Asian Speakeasy format followed by Swine & Sweets signature dessert course featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
There will be a special Cochon Chef’s Course dinner on Friday night at Bourbon Steak. Chef Omri Aflalo will welcome four renowned chefs for the dinner, which begins with canapés designed by each of the five chefs, followed by a sit-down, five-course dinner with beverage pairings. For details visit the Chef’s Course website.
The COCHON 555 event is 100% inclusive and always on Sunday. In 2014, ticket buyers are invited to enter to win a VIP trip to Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival in New York City, a trip to Heritage BBQ in September, or more than $3,000 in prizes from partners, including a Smart-Scoop Ice Cream Maker from Breville, a $1000 bottle of Reserve Bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery, a chance to be a Punch Kings Judge and 2 VIP tickets to Cochon 555.