Fairmont San Francisco
Sunday, April 12th
If you are down for heritage farming and roller-coasters of flavor; if you’re excited by a culinary competition; or if you just love to eat pork, clear your weekend calendar. Cochon 555, the country’s most talked about culinary competition arrives in San Francisco with an epic 3-day feast showcasing the best bites, chefs and who’s who of the good food movement. The goal, to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and tilt the scales to favor today’s emerging chef community struggling to pay premium prices for safer, more flavorful food raised by real farmers.
One-of-a-kind dining experiences Friday and Saturday lead up to the main event, Cochon 555, on Sunday, April 12 at Fairmont San Francisco, the Official Host of the weekend. The events are part of a national culinary competition that showcases notable chefs, barrier-breaking women, artist-like butchers, spirited bartenders, top winemakers, brewers, distillers, alongside decadent oysters, caviar and sweets. Here is your chance to get in on the action.
Sunday, April 12, is the main event, Cochon 555, which features five chefs cooking five pigs in a friendly competition. This year’s competing chefs include Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table, Salvatore Cracco of Trou Normand, David Bazirgan of Dirty Habit, Thomas Kalb of Cafe du Nord and Robin Song of Hogs and Rocks. The five chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. They will be preparing heritage breed pigs raised on local farms including Walnut Keep, Marin Sun Farms, Front Porch Farm, Love Family Farm and Madrone Coast Farm.
The weekend kicks-off on Friday, April 10, when Dennis Lee, Executive Chef of Smokestack at Magnolia and Owner Dave McLean welcome guest chefs David Bazirgan of Dirty Habit, Ted Fleury of Alembic, Omri Aflalo of Wayfare Tavern, Richie Nakano 2014 Prince of Porc SF, #FreeHapa, and COCHON 555 founder Brady Lowe for a five-course, all-inclusive whole animal dinner paired with the amazing wines of Washington State Wine and Magnolia Brews as part of the “Chef’s Course Dinner Series”. The three-hour culinary experience includes thoughtful chef introductions of each course ($105 all-inclusive) as they work together to prepare this special, one-night-only epicurean feast, emphasizing high-quality, local ingredients and responsible agriculture.
Saturday, April 11 spotlights Cochon 555’s “Large Format Feast,” ($110 all-inclusive) a four-course meat feast hosted at Alexander’s Steakhouse with Chef Marc Zimmerman. The preview dinner, featuring Anchor Distilling, will celebrate family-raised beef Creekstone Farms. This epic “Big Beef vs. Heritage Pig” dinner series features notable chefs who are reinventing the traditional steakhouse experience to spotlight the growing popularity of heritage pork on steakhouse menus, ultimately setting course for a safer food system.
Going on its seventh year, Cochon 555 is regarded as the nation’s most flavorful culinary tour. This year’s judges will be led by 2013’s Grand Cochon winner and official “King of Porc, Adam Sobel of RN74. He will be joined by Thomas McNaughton of Central Kitchen,, Brian Merkel of Belcampo Meat Co., Bryan Nolt of Breckenridge, Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy, Staffan Terje of Perbacco, Allie Pape of Eater, Rich Higgins of Master Cicerone, Matthew Accarrino of SPQR, Dave Mclean of Magnolia Pub, Cristiano Creminelli of Creminelli Fine Meats and Patric Yumul of Michael Mina Group who will help select San Francisco’s “Prince of Porc.” The winner goes on to compete for the title of “King or Queen of Porc” at the tour finale, Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen in June. The grand champion will be rewarded with a 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region. And, new in 2015, the winner’s kitchen countertops will be resurfaced with Wilsonart® Quartz decorative surfacing, a remarkable, beautifully engineered stone material from America’s countertop leader.
The San Francisco version of this fairy-tale heritage pork event includes more than 36 chef-prepared dishes in an all-inclusive stand up reception with notable tastings from Washington State Wine and Whistle Pig Rye with a series of “pop-up” culinary experiences including the Petit Format Bar presented by Wilsonart® Quartz decorative surfacing,, the Mezcal Chupito Bar, the TarTar Bar featuring Creekstone Farms prepared by Adam Sobel of RN74, Bacon Hall of Fame presented by Maggy Hawk Vineyards and BBQ Traditions prepared by Joshua Schwartz of Del Dotto Vineyards. This notable group of local and national sponsors will be hosting exceptional experiences from Buffalo Trace, Magnolia Brewery, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Eagle Rare, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Luxardo, Mission Cheese, Rappahannock Oyster Shelf, Prosciutto di Parma, Black River Caviar, Creminelli, La Brea Bakery.
We are proud to also announce the return of the Pop-Up Butcher Shop with the support of Williams-Sonoma – a live butchering demonstration with Brian Merkel of Belcampo Meat Co., raising money for the supporting culinary students from Le Cordon Bleu.
Both ticket levels include endless food and drink options. Specifically, general admission offers over 36 dishes prepared from nose to tail, paired with wines, brews and spirits. VIP guests are invited to attend a seminar hosted by Washington State Wine and one hour early access to food, drink and an opportunity to mingle with notable chefs, judges and media. All are invited to the Cochon 555 After Party at RN74.
“I’m excited about all the new partners in 2015 who support family farming, independent business and heritage breed pigs. Each event aims to lessen the burden on the small farmers to hold surplus inventory and streamline the sales process. This year we continue to expand with a guest chef and winemaker dinner series over the course of each weekend, a revamped welcome reception, and a flavorful lineup of experiences that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. “Together, with some of the best chefs and partners in San Francisco, we amplify the conversation of heritage pork, which for many is a ‘gateway meat’ to a larger appreciation of where our food comes from and the people that raise it, leading to more mindful eating.”
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