Drew Van Leuvan, Seven Lamps, Atlanta 

Chefs are the creative tastemakers of the Cochon555 tour. As part of our new Spotlight series for guests past and present, we take you behind the scenes for a Q&A with those who provide the delicious bites for our competition. Meet Chef Drew Van Leuvan from our Atlanta  event.

Can you give us a quick rundown of the theme behind your winning Cochon555 menu?

My main goal in the decision for the dishes we served was to make sure each bite was explosion of flavor.  Smoky, Spicy, Sweet, Salty & Rich…   The judges and patrons were going to sample so many dishes, from so many Chefs that you had to find a way to stand out.  I also wanted to show as many different techniques and styles of preparation as possible, in order show how diverse our foods offered were.  

Why is  heritage breed pork special for you – and how would you describe its flavor to the uninitiated?

Being a Chef you need to wear many hats, it’s not simply about creating and serving great foods.  We are responsible for teaching our clientele as well.  I feel that if I serve a great Berkshire Tamworth Cross from Tommy Searcy I know that my customer will be appreciative because the product is far superior to commodity.  The flavor is sweet and nutty all on its own.  The natural fat and dark meat from a Heritage Pig is not comparable to commodity and I believe it’s part of our job as Chef’s to provide this type of product to our guests.

Choose your best pork memory and describe it for us.

Honestly, the Cochon 555 event we just competed in and won was the most memorable pork experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being part of.  The preparation took an entire week, the logistics, planning and execution of the event was very demanding and very exciting.  I don’t believe anything could possibly top that, except winning Grand Cochon!

Join Chef Drew at Grand Cochon on October 1st in Chicago as he represents Atlanta! Don’t sleep on the best party of the year!