Mitch Mayers, Lark, Seattle 

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 Mitch Mayers of our Seattle event.

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

My Cochon 555 menu was focused on using the entire pig in a mix of casual, whimsical dishes, and traditional, elegant dishes to show a broad range of styles. For example, the rye bagel Reuben was a fun gesture to my Jewish heritage whereas the ISI risotto allowed me to play around with a more technical, creative way of presenting a traditional dish.

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

Cooking with heritage breed pork gives me the peace of mind that this animal was given a good life and raised and killed humanely. As someone who has always been very attached to animals, this is really important to me. The flavor is much more full and intense than your typical commodity pork, and between different breeds there are characteristics that show the unique way the farmer fed and raised the pig.  

Choose your best pork memory and describe it for us.

My first memorable pork experience was having barbecued baby back ribs at baseball camp when I was about ten years old. We didn’t really eat pork in my home and I just remember sitting on a grassy hill with pork juice and sauce all over my hands and thinking, “What are these? So tasty.”

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