Award-Winning Bartenders from 14 cities compete at Cochon555’s Annual Competition to crown the Grand Champion of Spirited Punches featuring Breckenridge Bourbon

CHICAGO, IL (August 31, 2017) — America’s cult-beloved culinary festival – Cochon555 – brings the best of its barkeep talents to Chicago Athletic Association hotel on Saturday, September 30. Celebrating the original bottle service and large format punch making, the winners of 14 regional barkeep competitions will compete at a grand finale competition called Punch Kings “Last Call”. Guests of Last Call have the option to include an innovative day-long food summit called BESPOKE: An Exploration of Taste & Thought as part of the Grand Cochon weekend.
Fittingly hosted in the historic luxury of Chicago Athletic Association hotel, the double header begins with the all-charity event BESPOKE: An Exploration of Taste & Thought, a 4-hour food summit that begins with breakfast and pastries at 10 a.m and ends with lunch and cocktails. Following the morning symposium, the Cochon555 regional barkeep Punch King champions take the stage at 3 p.m. to prepare their winning bourbon punch for a dozen notable judges using two spotlight ingredients: bourbon from the renowned Breckenridge Distillery in Colorado and Angostura Bitters from Trinidad.
Cochon555’s 2017 Last Call Punch King competitors on Saturday, September 30 at 3 p.m. include Anthony Bohlinger of Maison Premeire (New York City), Erik Eastman of Revival (Minneapolis), Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins of Nicky’s Coal Fired (Nashville), Chris Amirault of Otium (Los Angeles), Tim Hershberger of Mizuna (Denver), Ben Jewell of El Gritto (Miami), Sean Woods of Deadhorse Hill (Boston), Piers Smyth of ROOF on theWit (Chicago), Tania Ross of Bramling Cross (Seattle), Jim McConn of Américas (Houston), Jeff Lyon of Third Rail (San Francisco), James Wampler of Proof & Provision (Atlanta), Rachel Sergi of The Next Whisky Bar (Washington D.C.), and Sarah Rahl of Trio at the Four Seasons (Austin).

Where: Official Host & Hotel – Chicago Athletic Association hotel, 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL Saturday, September 30th, 2017
●  3PM | $75 LAST CALL | 3 hour Punch Event all-inclusive of beverage and food
●  10 AM | $75 BESPOKE ($55 students) | 4-hour food summit with cold-brew coffee accompanied by pastries, and lunch provided by Shake Shack
●  FULL DAY | $150 BESPOKE & LAST CALL VIP PACKAGE | Package includes tickets to both events on Saturday and 2:30PM early entry and behind-scenes tour of Last Call
Tickets: Purchase tickets at
Additionally, the day would not be complete without BESPOKE: An Exploration of Taste & Thought which will take place on Saturday, September 30 at 10 a.m. on the theme of Food & Identity. There will be given by award-winning cookbook author and photographer Naomi Duguid (topic: Gastro-nationalism, Persia, and home cooking) and Nina Ichikawa, the Policy Director for UCal-Berkeley’s Food Institute (topic: Asian-Americans, farming, and food culture) giving keynote speeches. There will also be a panel discussion about “Issues of Diversity, Power, and Labor in the Food Industries” followed by lunch. Guests of the symposium are invited to purchase tickets for Punch Kings.
“It’s always an honor to see how far this country’s bartending scene has come,” says Brady Lowe, Founder of Cochon555. “We’re putting the spotlight on the culture behind this movement as a way of promoting the power of food and drink, as well as responsible ways of making everything from farm products to spirits and wines. We are honored to have the soigné surrounds of Chicago Athletic Association hotel as hosting venue. Guests can expect a communal experience that’s not just about quality, but creating things with purpose and passion. This is eating and drinking for a cause.”
About the Cochon555 US Tour
The Cochon555 US Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through an innovative nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually and stages over 60 events. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions including Heritage Fire (live-fire); Heritage BBQ (global grilling cultures); and Grand Cochon (national whole-hog championship). Cochon555 cultivates a long-term impact for heritage species, raised by family farms in top culinary markets in North America. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and 16 culinary schools. Since 2009, 50,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork for the first time, more than $500,000 has been donated to charities, and over $750,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. For more details and videos of events, visit or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
About Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
Located on Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue across from iconic Millennium Park in the city’s Loop District, the Chicago Athletic Association hotel combines its storied legacy as one of the nation’s most revered social clubs with modern day sophistication. The historic building’s transformation into a 241-room boutique hotel is a result of a visionary partnership among international hotel management company Two Roads Hospitality, AJ Capital Partners, Geolo Capital, Agman Partners, Chicago-based Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, and the award-winning design firm Roman and Williams Building and Interiors. The Chicago Athletic Association hotel features 17,000 square feet of stunning event space with sweeping views of Lake Michigan, elegantly-appointed guest rooms – including 23 uniquely-designed suites – an interactive game room, curated retail space by Madison Hall and multiple innovative culinary experiences. The food and beverage outlets include a rooftop bar with captivating views of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, restaurant concepts by Chicago-based Land & Sea Dept. and Shake Shack. These exceptional offerings for incoming visitors and locals alike make the Chicago Athletic Association poised to once again become the epicenter of the city’s thriving social scene. For reservations or more information, please visit or call 312.940.3552. Stay connected with Chicago Athletic Association hotel on Facebook and Twitter (@ChiAthletic).
About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015 by Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe, Piggy Bank is a pig farming sanctuary. Harboring a Noah’s Ark-worthy selection of heritage breeds, it provides free genetics and access to shared business plans to emerging family farms. Piggy Bank aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and benefit from the sharing of genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to thrive as small businesses. The Piggy Bank farm, to be located in Missouri, raises heritage breed pigs to be gifted to communities, while building a model of agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank is a nonprofit corporation with federal tax exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Follow the Piggy Bank conversation on Twitter @PiggyBankOrg. For more information, watch the video or visit .