MINNEAPOLIS

LOEWS HOTEL - Official Host & Hotel
Sunday, Feb. 21st

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

North America’s most talked about culinary competition returns to Minneapolis on February 21 with a one-of-a-kind stand-up tasting reception featuring five chefs cooking five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. Upping its commitment to the good food movement, this year’s tour will benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. Celebrating its 8th Annual 18-city tour, Cochon555 is dedicated to uniting 16,000 guests across the country with local farmers, renowned chefs, prominent winemakers, restaurateurs, craft brewers and distillers. Together, they are raising awareness for honest food producers, responsible farming and the first open-source agriculture platform. For an in-depth look at the Cochon555 movement, a series of stunning videos and tickets to this must-do culinary experience, please visit www.cochon555.com.

This year’s competing chefs include John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya, Christopher Nye of Spoon and Stable, Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Company/Brewers Table, Carrie Summer & Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack Ranch and James Winberg, Mike Brown & Bob Gerken of Travail Kitchen & Amusements. 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. In addition to the 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs, guests will feast on educational experiences featuring boutique wines and culinary cocktails paired with delicious bites. The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Princess or Prince 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.


Guests can enjoy more culinary programming beyond the 36 competition dishes at this fairy-tale pig event including the a reserve tasting of Prosciutto di Parma, TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms, “Luxe Butter Bar” with Antica Napa Valley and La Brea Bakery, the Artisan Cheese Bar featuring Cypress Grove Chevre, Coach Farm and Parrano and the Seafood Shelf featuring sustainable oysters. Voters get a ticket to Taste the New Ramen Bar with Justin Carlisle of Ardent paired with the stunning Wines of Germany and Sun Noodle followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop featuring Stephanie Schwandt of Cosmos/Loews Minneapolis right before the Awards Ceremony. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to take home delicious heritage breed pork cut up by David Newman of Newman Farms at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, a retail experience raising money for Piggy Bank hosted by celebrated emcee Billy Harris of Hanging with Harris with the support of Williams-Sonoma and Hedley & Bennett. The beverage program includes Cochon555’s Punch Kings local barkeep competition featuring Breckenridge Distillery and The Welcome Punch reception featuring Buffalo Trace, DRY Sparkling and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Wine tastings are 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 guests Matt Courtney of Arista Vineyards, a spotlight Sommelier Smackdown, Alysian Wines, Lake Sonoma Winery and Azzurro Wine Company. The Perfect Margarita Experience includes a tasting of hand-crafted luxury tequilas from Don Julio including 1942 and the mobile Heritage Rum Cart will travel through the crowd while guests sip libations at the TIKI BAR featuring The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. The “Chupito” Mezcal Experience returns featuring Don Amado, Fidencio, Mezcales de Leyenda, Koch el Mezcal, La Venenosa and Derrumbes. Bourbon lovers rejoice with the Perfect Manhattan featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace finished with Luxardo cherries with a special treat from Creminelli Fine Meats and the Smoked Old Fashioned featuring Breckenridge Bourbon. Right before the awards, everyone is invited to experience “The Last Word” featuring Junipero and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur. Low-proof favorites include Martinez Lacuesta’s Vermut Bar and the crisp lineup of brews from Surly Brewing. Dry Sparkling is offering a non-alcoholic option with their lineup of culinary sodas. 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, and for the first time in human history, a culinary tour has emerged to save endangered species on a global scale. Together, with some of the best chefs and partners in hospitality, we amplify the conversation 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 for amazing weekend in Minneapolis with two dinners raising money for Piggy Bank, a 501(c)(3) project of the Giving Back Fund.”


On February 19, the weekend takeover commences with a pair of guest chef dinners to benefit Piggy Bank hosted by King of Porc Thomas Boemer at The Corner Table. These unique dinners bring together chefs, world-renowned winemakers and beverage experts to create a multi-course, interactive dining experience where guests have the opportunity to interact with the participating chefs. On Friday, the tour will kick off with the Late Night Asian Speakeasy, an all-inclusive feast paying homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese after-hour establishments known to inspire great kitchens across the country. On Saturday, a refined three-hour culinary experience, the Chef’s Course Dinner Series, begins with a reception featuring a selection of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated dinner and premium wine pairings. Both dinners will be limited to 40 seats each night, tickets are available online at $125 per person and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank. Additionally, ticket buyers are welcome to sign-up for Chefs Course, Cochon555’s annual rewards program with over 100+ restaurants participating nationwide.

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 HOTEL - Official Host & Hotel
LOEWS HOTEL
601 1st Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55403
BOOK A ROOM

When: Sunday, Feb. 21st

VIP Admission: 4PM / $200
General Admission: 5PM / $125


COCHON 555 is a casual event. Come VERY hungry, and on time like movie night. TICKETS ARE ALL-INCLUSIVE, as a guest you will enjoy a generous culinary experience. VIP receives one-hour early-access to food, drink and an opportunity to mingle with notable chefs, judges and media (kind of like meeting the cast & crew behind the scenes on opening night of a new movie). General Admission is an Epic Tasting of five chefs cooking whole pig from nose to tail paired with wines, brews and spirits. We strategically plan and execute pop-up experiences with food and beverage champions every 20 minutes throughout the evening including ramen bars, signature desserts, tartare bars and sponsored nibbles paired featured cocktails. This is flavor country, honest food prepared with passion. Stick around for the awards and we promise you will not go hungry. If you can make it, everyone is invited to the Cochon 555 After Party.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: media-AT-cochon555.com

Chefs + Restaurants

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CARRIE SUMMER & LISA CARLSON
Chef Shack Ranch
CARRIE SUMMER & LISA CARLSON

Chef Biography

CARRIE SUMMER & LISA CARLSON

New York City trained, innovative #femalechefs of the #North. Foodtrucks & Restaurants.

Farm Information

DUROC

The Duroc breed has long been known for its ability to grow faster on less feed. Duroc is high in marbling making its spareribs and shoulder roasts sweet & juicy. The Yorkshire is a very muscular pig, with with a large frame know for raising large litters in addition to being very sound and durable on pasture. The Yorkshire has a high proportion of lean meat and low backfat. Combining the traits of the two breeds creates a deliciously balanced farmers cross.
JAMES WINBERG, MIKE BROWN, & BOB GERKEN
Travail Kitchen & Amusements
JAMES WINBERG, MIKE BROWN, & BOB GERKEN

Chef Biography

JAMES WINBERG, MIKE BROWN, & BOB GERKEN

Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg are the founders and chefs of Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale, MN., which opened in June 2010. They were semi-finalists in 2012, 2013, and 2014 for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Midwest; in addition, Travail Kitchen ranked among Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants in 2011 and 2014. They recently opened three additional concepts, the Rookery, Copper Table, and Pig Ate My Pizza.

Farm Information

LARGE BLACK

Originating from Chinese breeds brought to England, the Large Black is a critically rare breed known for its taste, pasture foraging skills and overall hardiness. Large Blacks have short black hair, wide shoulders and a long body. When harvested, even at 200 pounds, the micro-marbling, short muscle fibers and excellent bellies produce exceptional bacon and moist meat with old world flavor.
JORGE GUZMAN
Surly Brewing Co.
JORGE GUZMAN

Chef Biography

JORGE GUZMAN

Born in Mexico & raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Guzman was named 2015 Chef of the Year by MSP Star Tribune. A Charlie Awards Best Chef nominee 2015. Founder of Farm in the Cities a Nonprofit organization, supporting sustainable agriculture & practices. Executive Chef for Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis.

Farm Information

LARGE BLACK

The Large Black breed is thought to have originated from Chinese breeds brought over to England. A critically rare breed known for its taste, pasture foraging skills and overall hardiness. Large blacks have short black hair, large shoulders and a long body. When harvested, even at 200 pounds, the micro-marbling, short muscle fibers and excellent bellies produce exceptional bacon and moist meat with old world flavor.
CHRISTOPHER NYE
Spoon and Stable
CHRISTOPHER NYE

Chef Biography

CHRISTOPHER NYE

Chris has spent 10 years working on the East Coast in some of the country's most demanding kitchens. After developing his talents under such Chefs as Gavin Kaysen, Bertrand Chemel, and Fabio Trabbochi, Chris has returned home to Minneapolis to team up with Chef Gavin Kaysen again to open Spoon and Stable in the North Loop neighborhood. Spoon and Stable has received much local and national acclaim after opening in late 2014.

Farm Information

RED WATTLE

Originating from New Caledonia, a French Island in the South Pacific, the Red Wattle gets its name from its red color and the fleshy skin that hangs under its jowls. is extremely rare breed adapts to climates well and is an excellent forager. It is prized for its tender meat and splendid hams. Red Wattle pork is lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.
JOHN NG
Zen Box Izakaya
JOHN NG

Chef Biography

JOHN NG

Chef/Owner of Zen Box Izakaya. Born in Hong Kong, mentored by Chef Koji Okada in San Francisco, trained in Japanese cooking and Craft Ramen while studying Architecture and Design. Active in his local food community, Ng works closely with renowned ramen chefs in NYC, Atlanta, Nashville, and Tokyo.

Farm Information

BERKSHIRE

Originating from Britain, Berkshire is the most popular of the heritage breeds. Known as “Kurobuta” in Japan, this pig is black with white legs, and has become a favorite with chefs because of its intramuscular marbling. The breed yields a brighter pork than most, and features a thick, delicious fat cap. The meat is sweet and creamy with hints of nuttiness, which is typical of the finishing process in several areas.
DAVID NEWMAN
Newman Farms
DAVID NEWMAN
JUSTIN CARLISLE
Ardent / Red Light Ramen
JUSTIN CARLISLE
THOMAS BOEMER
Corner Table
THOMAS BOEMER
ABE SCHOENER
SCHOLIUM PROJECT
ABE SCHOENER

WINEMAKER BIO

ABE SCHOENER

A 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.

THE SPOTLIGHT

SAV. BLANC

Savage skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from the fragrant, less severe portion of Sonoma Mountain's Farina Vineyard. A deep, smoky wine with tannins that are rich and structured, civil and well-organized.
PAX MAHLE
PAX WINE CELLARS
PAX MAHLE

WINEMAKER BIO

PAX MAHLE

Pax 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.
RAJAT PARR
Sandhi Wines
RAJAT PARR

WINEMAKER BIO

RAJAT PARR

Partner/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).

THE SPOTLIGHT

CHARDONNAY

Our “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.
JEFF PISONI
PISONI ESTATE
JEFF PISONI

WINEMAKER BIO

JEFF PISONI

Jeff 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.

THE SPOTLIGHT

PINOT NOIR

The 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 DRAPER
RIDGE VINEYARDS
PAUL DRAPER

WINEMAKER BIO

PAUL DRAPER

Paul 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.

THE SPOTLIGHT

ZINFANDEL

Ripe jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, eucalyptus and sweet toasted oak. Rich brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous texture and a long layered finish.

Biography

BILLY HARRIS

For the past twenty years, Billy Harris has been wowing audiences throughout the United States and around the world. His razor-sharp timing and brilliant improvisational skills have made him one of the most sought-after MC's in the business. A cousin of Vaudeville great Georgie Jessel, Billy has been performing his entire life. By the tender age of five and a half, he understood how to "work a room"!

Fundraising

FUNDRAISING

Billy is a highly sought after auctioneer who lends his comedic style to the auction block. His contagious energy, explosive style and ability to work the crowd, will create an atmosphere that will have the audience laughing while opening their wallets! Billy has raised millions of dollars for Share Our Strength,The New York Food Bank, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Autism Speaks, The James Beard Foundation and The Mario Batali Foundation to just name a few.

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