LOEWS CHICAGO HOTEL - Official Host & Hotel
Sunday, Apr. 24th
Cochon555’s Epic Culinary Competition Tour & Experiential Food Experience Announces a Portion of Ticket Sales Will Support a Charity Dedicated to Creating the World’s First Open-Source Genetics Model for Family Farming
If you love a good cause and want to attend one of the tastiest culinary events in the country, then clear your weekend calendar when Cochon555 heads to Chicago on April 24 when five chefs compete with five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. The food is hyper-local and eating for a cause has never tasted so good. The weekend begins with back to back charity dinners followed by the head-to-toe, nationally celebrated Cochon555 at the Loews Chicago Hotel on Sunday afternoon. Guests buying an all-inclusive Cochon555 ticket sample forty of the best bites prepared by top chefs paired with artisan wines selected by celebrated winemakers and sommeliers alongside an endless culinary cocktail program from notable barkeeps. The events benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs to emerging family farms and culinary schools. Guests are united with the who’s who of the good food movement helping to raise monies to support the first open-source platform for family farming.
On Sunday, April 24th, Cochon555 will be held at Loews Chicago Hotel. This year’s competing chefs include Host Chef Cory Morris of Rural Society, Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, Alfredo Nogueira of Analogue, Phillip Foss of EL Ideas and Sarah Rinkavage of Lula Cafe. The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Prince or Princess of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King or Queen of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th. A group of esteemed judges with the help of five Sommeliers participating in the new Somm Smackdown will help 400 guests help find the winner.
On Friday, April 22nd, Nathan Sears of The Radler will host a guest chef Late Night Asian Speakeasy featuring an all-star lineup of five chefs including Cosmo Goss of Publican, Mark Hellyar of Momotaro, 2013 Cochon555 Winner Tim Graham and Ed Sura of Perrenial with the support of Niman Ranch, Sun Noodle, and Williams-Sonoma. The family-style feast paying homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese restaurants begins with a reception of hand-crafted punches with The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley and Breckenridge Distillery. Guests will also enjoy DRY Sparkling and a special tasting of Martínez Lacuesta reserve vermouths before five courses. Watch the dinner sneak preview video here: www.AsianSpeakeasy.com. On Saturday, April 23rd, Chef Rob Levitt of Local Foods will host a Chef’s Course Dinner, a refined three-hour culinary experience featuring five chefs including Sarah Rinkavage of Lula Cafe, Andres Padilla of Topolobampo / Frontera, Andrew Gietzen of Yusho/Billy Sunday/A10, Abra Berens of Stock Cafe and Christopher Thompson cooking five-courses paired with Kettmeir Wines. The all-inclusive dinner begins with a reception of passed hors d’oeuvres from each chef alongside a special tasting of Martínez Lacuesta Vermouths and DRY Sparkling followed by a seated dinner with support from Niman Ranch and Williams-Sonoma. The charity dinners are limited to 40 seats and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank. Reservations are currently are online for purchase at www.Piggy-Bank.org.
Additional Culinary Programming beyond the 36 competition dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs will include the TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms featuring “2015 Princess of Porc” Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen and Social House, “Luxe Butter Bar” with Antica Napa Valley, the Artisan Cheese Bar featuring the team from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Cypress Grove Chevre, Coach Farm, Parrano and 34º Crisps, a Tapas Bar featuring Wines from Rioja, special bites from Niman Ranch and the Seafood Shelf with Swift & Sons featuring Gulfish and Rappahannock River Oysters. Everyone casting a vote for the best bite of the day at the voting table gets a ticket to “Taste the New” Ramen Bar prepared by Justin Carlisle of Red Light Ramen by Ardent paired with the stunning Wines of Germany and featuring Sun Noodle followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop featuring Bang Bang Pie Shop right before the Awards Ceremony. All guests will have the opportunity to take home delicious heritage breed pork from the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, a butchering demonstration with Rob Levitt of Butcher & Larder. The Butcher Shop is a retail experience raising money for the charity Piggy Bank and will be hosted by celebrated emcee Billy Harris of Hanging with Harris with the support of Williams-Sonoma and our friends at Hedley & Bennett.
The Cochon555 Culinary Cocktail programming starts during VIP hour with Cochon555’s Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Bourbon, a regional competition featuring five notable barkeeps including Anthony Mitchell of Revel Room, Lauren Parton of Rural Society, Riley Huddleston of London House, Justin Kaderabek of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio and Adam Seger of The TUCK Room all hoping to win passage for a chance at the national title. During registration, everyone enjoys “The Welcome Punch” reception featuring Buffalo Trace, DRY Sparkling and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley who will be offering a chance to win two round-trip tickets to Heritage Fire in Napa. Wine is back in a big way in 2016 with the ““Five Winemakers” including sought-after wines from Paul Draper (Ridge Wines), Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Abe Schoener (Scholium Project), Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni Vineyards), Pax Mahle (Pax Wine Cellars) and special guest Matt Courtney of Arista Vineyards, a spotlight Sommelier Smackdown, Lake Sonoma Winery, Azzurro Wine Company and Tenuta Sassoregale. The “World of Wines” table will have the crowds watching and sampling as five of the city’s top sommeliers tell us what they think pairs best with heritage breed pork and the best wine across-the-board will be selected the winner of the event. Tequila enthusiasts will love “The Perfect Margarita Experience” and the opportunity to discover hand-crafted luxury tequilas including Don Julio Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, 70th Anniversary and Don Julio 1942. Going mobile is the “Heritage Rum Cart” that will travel through the crowds featuring Rhum Clément, Diplomatico and Plantation, premium brands with an educational approach to showcasing styles and the regional influences of rum including Spanish, French and British. The “Chupito” Mezcal Experience will feature Don Amado Mezcal, Fidencio Mezcal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Koch el Mezcal, La Niña del Mezcal, La Venenosa and Mezcal Derrumbes. Bourbon and whiskey lovers rejoice with the return of the “Perfect Manhattan” an experience featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace finished with Luxardo cherries in a hand-prepared classic topped with a special treat from Creminelli Fine Meats. The amazing “TIKI BAR” features tiki-inspired libations featuring The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley and Breckenridge Distillery. Classic cocktail enthusiasts will enjoy the Smoked Old Fashioned presented by Breckenridge Bourbon with support from Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao. Fans of low-proof cocktails will love the reserve beauties at Martinez Lacuesta’s Vermut Bar and a crisp lineup of brews from Virtue Cider. Friends in need of non-alcoholic options will experience the culinary soda lineup from DRY Sparkling and right before the awards, everyone is invited to “The Last Word” a cocktail experience featuring Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and Junipero Gin right before the announcement of the 2016 Prince or Princess of Porc Chicago. The one-of-a-kind experience will take place at Loews Chicago Hotel. Don’t miss the chance to buy tickets to this fairy-tale heritage pork event as tickets are expected to sell-out to this an all-inclusive stand up reception.
“I’m excited about all the new partners in 2016 who support family farming and independent business. The Cochon555 Tour is now a movement, from hosting celebrated culinary events and dinners all over North America to reaching a global audience with the news of the first open-source agricultural model. The tour is dedicated to helping family farmers succeed, period,” stated founder Brady Lowe. “This doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, together, with some of the best chefs and partners in hospitality, we amplify the conservation of heritage pork once again, which for many is a ‘gateway’ to a larger appreciation of where our food comes from and the people that raise it, leading to more mindful eating and safer food choices for our youth. We can’t wait to return for an amazing weekend in Chicago with two dinners raising money for Piggy Bank, a 501(c)(3) project of the Giving Back Fund.”
Founder Brady Lowe has a long-term commitment to making Piggy Bank the charity recipient of tour moving forward. The Cochon555 tour will find 275 donors each year to help fuel the movement in addition to hosting dinners and other activities. Piggy Bank seeks to build a future for family farming with the goal of changing the future of food and promoting long-term farming sustainability. Piggy Bank will raise heritage breed pigs to be gifted to new farmers and culinary schools, assist new family farms with herd development and help existing farms challenged by disaster. For more details about Piggy Bank, please visit www.Piggy-Bank.org, or follow @piggybankorg on Twitter.
Where: LOEWS CHICAGO HOTEL - Official Host & Hotel
VIP Admission: 4PM / $200
Chefs + Restaurants
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CORY MORRISRural Society
CORY MORRISBorn in Salt Lake City, Utah, Chef Morris moved to Chicago in 2008 to open Mercat a la Planxa as Sous Chef and was later promoted to Chef de Cuisine of the restaurant. His passion for food was sparked at a young age, and he draws on both childhood memories and global travels to bring a unique and inspired approach to his cooking.
HEREFORDOriginating from the U.S. during the 1920’s, the Hereford is a rare, but well-known breed. Resembling Hereford cows, these hogs have a distinguished reddish-brown coat and white face. The Hereford is known for its calm disposition and ability to thrive on pastures. It is a slower-growing breed, yielding rich colored, marbled meat.
SARAH GRUENEBERGMonteverde Restaurant
SARAH GRUENEBERGGrueneberg was a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas” making it as a finalist and runner-up for the season. She has also been named a “Rising Star Chef” by Chicago Social magazine and Eater Chicago’s “Chef of the Year” in the 2011 Eater Awards. Grueneberg is currently Chef/Partner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago’s West Loop, which she opened in November 2015 with business partner and long-time friend Meg Colleran Sahs.
MANGALITSAOriginating from Hungary in the early 1800’s, the Mangalitsa is a very rare breed, and is said to be the Wagyu of pork. The breed is characterized by its course, wooly coat and ability to withstand extreme conditions. Mangalitsa pork is known for its high-quality, lard-type fat, and its high percentage of marbling, which doubles that of average pork. The Mangalitsa yields juicy and flavorful meat.
ALFREDO NOGUEIRABorn and raised in new orleans, moved to chicago as a refuge of hurricane Katrina. Started making gumbo for friends as a way to cure homesickness for friends and turned it into a full time gig.
GLOUCESTER OLD SPOTOriginating from England, the Gloucestershire Old Spot is a critically rare breed. Nicknamed “orchard pig”, the Old Spot is white with black spots, has floppy ears and a medium-sized body. Known for its higher fat ratio, the breed remains remarkably hardy with flavorful meat, excellent for aging abilities and a gentle temperament, making it popular with farmers. The meat has a distinctive layer of back fat, which adds to the succulent flavor overall.
SARAH RINKAVAGELula Cafe
SARAH RINKAVAGESarah Rinkavage has spent the last six years working from the bottom to the top at Lula Cafe. Now as Chef de Cuisine, she creates an ever changing menu at the Chicago restaurant institution that continues to change and grow every day. In the last year she has been named a Star Chef Rising Star, to the Zagat 30 under 30, and has traveled abroad to stage in Europe.
BERKALITSAMangalitsa is a very rare breed, and is said to be the Wagyu of pork. Berkshire is the most popular of the heritage breeds and has become a favorite with chefs because of its intramuscular marbling. The crossing of these breeds yields a brighter pork, a luscious thick, delicious fat cap and hearty coat of hair that can withstand a sturdy environment. The finished product is a sweet, fatty and creamy mouthfeel with subtle hints of nuttiness.
PHILLIP FOSSEL Ideas
PHILLIP FOSSThe mission of EL Ideas’ chef/owner, Phillip Foss (Le Cirque, Quilted Giraffe, Lockwood), is to make fine dining approachable and fun instead of pretentious and stuffy. As there are no walls separating diners from chefs, interaction with the kitchen team throughout the meal is encouraged, and diners and chefs are able to connect together in unexpected ways.
BUROCBerkshire pigs are one of the most popular heritage breeds, known for their intramuscular marbling, light pink hue and almost nutty pork. Duroc pigs are fast growing animals yielding sweet and juicy meat, ranging in color from light yellow to dark red. The combination of these two breeds results in both intramuscular fat and hearty back fat, ensuring the meat will be tender and sweet tasting.
PAX MAHLEPAX WINE CELLARS
PAX MAHLEPax and Pam Mahle moved to wine country in 1997 to pursue careers in wine. After a few years of tasting and sourcing wine from all over California for Dean & Deluca, Pax decided to start his own brand from a vineyard he felt a kismet connection. That vineyard was Alder Springs Vineyard, and after finding an investor to help realize the dream, Pax Wine Cellars was launched in 2000.
JEFF PISONIPISONI ESTATE
JEFF PISONIJeff spent his childhood immersed in his family, the farm and the vineyards. These influences, his father’s winemaking and an early interest in science allowed Jeff to know from very early on that he would pursue a life of making wine. Jeff loves the interwoven art, science and craft aspects of winemaking, and the never-ending learning and appreciation of nature found while working with the vineyards and wine.
PINOT NOIRThe Lucia Pinot Noir is a blend from the three vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands farmed by the Pisoni Family: Pisoni, Garys' and Soberanes Vineyards. This wine is a wonderful representation of the Santa Lucia Highlands and these estate vineyards. The goal is to create a "world-class" appellation blend; barrels for this wine are hand selected, just as for the single-vineyard wines.
PAUL DRAPERRIDGE VINEYARDS
PAUL DRAPERPaul Draper is the chief winemaker at Ridge Vineyards in California since 1969. Draper has played a significant role in the history of California wine through his pioneering work in popularizing "vineyard-designated" wines as well as instigating the resurgence of old vine Zinfandel. Draper is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Californian Zinfandel, rescuing the grape from obscurity and demonstrating its full potential as a serious wine.
ZINFANDELRipe jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, eucalyptus and sweet toasted oak. Rich brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous texture and a long layered finish.
RAJAT PARRSANDHI WINES
RAJAT PARRPartner/Proprietor, Sandhi - Though food was Rajat Parr’s first love, wine became his great passion. Fortunately, Rajat has encountered the best of both worlds through his work as wine director for the Mina Group’s restaurants and as partner in RN74 (San Francisco and Seattle).
CHARDONNAYOur “village wine” is a blend of vineyards from the southwestern part of Sta. Rita Hills including sections from Rita’s Crown, Bentrock, and Wenzlau. The Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay is vinified with the same level of detail as our single vineyard wines and showcases both the splendor of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation and the piercing focus of the 2013 vintage.
ABE SCHOENERSCHOLIUM PROJECT
ABE SCHOENERA note from Abe: I am the winemaker. For a long time, I did everything by myself, but then I realized that I needed the help of brilliant friends to succeed. I still do much alone, especially in the realm furthest from the winery and vineyards.