Notable chefs and farmers worked together to spotlight global BBQ grilling traditions and old world cooking techniques at North America’s hyper-local culinary tour during it’s three-day takeover this past weekend in Chicago
CHICAGO, IL (September 28, 2015) – On Sunday, Chef Alfredo Nogueira was announced the King of BBQ at Heritage BBQ, with a Berkshire from Faith’s Farm at a friendly culinary competition promoting heritage breed pigs and global grilling cultures. The winning menu included Cochon de Lait (shoulder, shank, hocks and jowls cooked in lard with garlic, herbs and black pepper) served with Creamy Cole Slaw on Pork Fat White Bread with Cracklin’, Muffaletta made from Fatback “Capicola”, “Mortadella” and Fermented, Smoked “Salami”, Backbone Stew made with Brisket, Vertebrae, Smoked Fatback and Andouille, Fraisseurs served over Louisiana Popcorn Rice, Oreilles de Cochon (Boudin Stuffed Beignets) and to close a Pork Salad featuring Applewood and Pecan Smoked Loin, Cured and Roasted Belly and Crispy Rinds with Werp Farms Baby Mustard Greens, Pickled Grapes, Klug Farms Peaches and a Creole Mustard Vinaigrette. Photos from the event and winning menu can be found here (
Cochon555’s Heritage BBQ aims to rebuild our perception of BBQ by going back to its roots and showcasing the original context of BBQ, which meant, local meats cooked with native spices, over fires and shared with a community. The series of events aims to tilt the scales in favor of building long-term relationships between family farms and the larger commodity meat buyers like BBQ restaurants who can join the fight to support small family farmers.
This year’s competing chefs included Host Chef Jonathan Meyer of Freehand Chicago, Official Hotel of the Heritage BBQ weekend, who prepared South American, Edward Sura of Perennial Virant prepared American, Scott Manley of Table, Donkey & Stick prepared German Schwenkbraten, Chris Curren of Seven Lions went International, yet it was winner Alfredo Nogueira of Analogue who took home top honors with his Creole inspired menu. Each chef was given a whole heritage breed pig raised on a local family farm, and in seven days, worked with their teams to present a “Judge’s Plate” consisting of six dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques and overall flavor. The winner in Chicago was crowned the “BBQ King” and took home more than $3,000 in prizes, including a Dream Bar from Wilsonart, exclusive bar tools and cookware from Williams-Sonoma, alongside a large supply of premium whiskey, ryes and bourbons.
In addition to sampling the competitor’s dishes, guests enjoyed Cochon 555’s spotlight called “BBQ Traditions”, an epic tasting inside the event where notable chefs prepared one dish from their favorite BBQ culture like Hibachi, Char Siu, Barbacoa, Asado, Satay or even regional American BBQ styles. Chrissy Cambra of Maddy’s Dumpling House prepared Dumplings, Dave Ochs of Maple & Ash prepared Yakitori, John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina prepared Argentine Sweetbreads,  Mitch Cavanah of GT Fish and Oyster prepared Satay, Phil Wingo of Pork Mafia prepared Brazilian Churassco and Dylan Lipe of Blackwood BBQ prepared Carolina BBQ.
The all-inclusive stand up tasting event included 1,400+ pounds of heritage pig, “pop-up” culinary experiences, premium wines, artisan cheeses, sustainable seafood, hand-crafted spirits, fine cocktails, and a very impressive selection of whiskies, ryes and bourbon. The stunning lineup of sponsors behind this celebration of heritage species included Williams-Sonoma’s local butcher demo with Rob Levitt of Butcher & Larder and a Butcher’s Cocktail presented by George Dickel,  Wilsonart’s “Perfect Manhattan Experience” featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge, Westland Whiskey, Bulleit, George Dickel and Luxardo cherries, the Tiki Bar featuring The Perfect Puree of Napa and Breckenridge, New Holland Artisan Spirits, New Holland Brewing Co., a Chupito Bar featuring Fidencio, Koch el Mezcal, La Venenosa and Mezcales de Leyenda, stunning wines from Barlow Vineyards and Terrazas, a Rib Cart experience courtesy of Creekstone Farms and Smylie Bros., Welcome Ribs from Berkwood Farms prepared by Bryan Collante of Untitled Supper Club,  Rappahannock River Oysters prepared by Pearl Oyster Tavern, the Artisan Cheese Bar presented by Pastoral Artisan including Creminelli Fine Meats and La Brea Bakery, California Olive Ranch, Chefs Warehouse, and the Pop-up Pie Shop presented by Bang Bang Pie.  A portion of the proceeds benefitted the local culinary school and while building opportunities for local family farms.
The weekend kicked-off on Friday, September 25 with a Late Night Asian Speakeasy Dinner at Fat Rice  hosted by Chef Abe Conlon. The priceless experience included an all-inclusive guest chef dinner that paid homage to the best Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese establishments that have inspired some of the best menus across the country. Dinner included one course prepared by each chef paired with a premium beverage. Chefs included Hooni Kim of Danji and Hanjan in New York City, Nick Liu of Dailo in Toronto, Justin Carlisle of Ardent in Milwaukee, Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto in Washington DC, Abe Conlon of Fat Rice, and Chicago’s very own 2012 “King of Porc”, Jason Vincent. Together the chefs created a once-in-a-lifetime Asian speakeasy-themed feast paired with premium hand-crafted cocktails prepared by Elad Zvi of Broken Shaker/Bar Lab featuring Breckenridge Distillery and The Perfect Puree.
On Saturday, September 26, Cochon555 teamed up with Chicago Gourmet to host the inaugural Punch Kings, Pigs n’ Tiki at the Harris Theater Rooftop. Guests were immersed in the beverage trend taking the nation by storm – tiki – where a notable group of ten barkeeps prepared tiki-inspired Cruzan Rum punches paired with a lip-smacking heritage pig roast. Participants included Diane Corcoran of Three Dots and a Dash, Jacyara de Oliveira of Sportsman’s Club, Will Duncan of Punch House, Harrison Ginsberg of The Dawson, Alex Renshaw and Shailee Weber of Presidio, Benjamin Schiller of The Sixth, Rachael Thompson of The Violet Hour, Brandon Phillips of The Duck Inn, Peter Vestinos of The Betty, Kim Synder of Faith’s Farm, Inc., Mark Boe of LaPryor Farms, Michelle DeSchaaf of 1936 Meadowbrook Farm, Sam Crandall of Northern Marsh Farms, Dan Deering of Dandee Berks and Todd Mussman of Local Three. Lee Zaremba of Billy Sunday won in the head-to-head competition for the finest tiki-inspired punch bowl with a mission of earning the ultimate title: Punch King. The punches were paired with delicious bites prepared by Nathan Sears of The Radler, Cory Morris of Rural Society, Trent Sparrow of Catalpa Grove Farm, Phil Wingo of Pork Mafia, Danny Espinoza of Dinner Lab, Leonard Hollander and Adam Segar of Arbor Restaurant, Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski of TÊTE Charcuterie, Steve Dolinsky of ABC 7 and Frank Valdez of Son of a Butcher Tavern. The event was sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, La Caja China and Freehand Chicago, the Official Hotel of Heritage BBQ weekend.
“It’s always amazing to be in Chicago; a great market of socially conscious people and a demographic we truly identify with” said Cochon founder Brady Lowe. “With the launch of our new charity, Piggy Bank, we couldn’t pick a better city to support our new cause and message that family farms are still a minority group needing our support. Chicago was the perfect city to include in Heritage BBQ’s five-city tour and a big thank you to Jonathan Meyer and the whole team at Freehand Chicago, the host of the event. It was another strong turnout in Chicago and I’m truly honored to have collaborated with a team of amazing chefs, sponsors and farmers who were so receptive to the flavors, charity and cause.”
About Heritage BBQ by COCHON 555
Started in 2012 in an effort to bridge the gap between family farms and all categories of BBQ restaurants, Heritage BBQ by Cochon 555, is the first national BBQ competition dedicated to supporting a new direction for heritage breed pigs by expanding the conversation to a global economy. Created by Cochon 555 Founder Brady Lowe, Heritage BBQ engages existing BBQ restaurants in the local and sustainable food conversation taking place nationwide while simultaneously breaking ground on a new hyper-local, globally-themed, farm-supporting BBQ.
About The Cochon US Tour
The Cochon US Tour executes a variety of unique, local food events that are focused on raising enthusiasm for supporting family farms with the world’s first environmentally conscious nose-to-tail pig competition. The flagship Cochon 555 event is celebrated as the world’s first nose-to-tail pig competition in the fine-dining community. Created in response to the lack of consumer education around “heritage breed pigs”, this epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually. The US Tour also includes other live-event festivals, these focused culinary expressions include Heritage BBQ (global cultures), Heritage Fire (live-fire event), EPIC Cochon (hyper-premium), and Cochon Island (agri-tourism). The events feature top chefs preparing locally raised heritage breed proteins. Together with winemakers, brewers, distillers and craft food champions, they create authentic culinary events celebrating the good food movement. Since its launch, the tour has supported responsible family farming by sharing heritage breed pig experience with over 50,000, by donating more than $450,000 to charities and culinary schools, and buying more than $1,000,000 in food raised by local farmers. For more details about the events, visit or follow @cochon555 on Twitter.