At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition of five local chefs each presenting one whole, heritage breed pig to promote local family farming. Running in tandem for two years, is Cochon555’s “Somm Smackdown” competition featuring 50 of the nation’s top sommeliers each challenged with pairing the best wines from around the globe to the dishes prepared by the competing chefs. A panel of 24 celebrity judges select a winner.
We were thrilled to be joined by five incredible Somms for our first event of the year in the Pig Apple. They competed for the best wine of the day as well as a spot in our national finale, Grand Cochon, taking place in Chicago on September 30 for our ten year anniversary party.
Congratulations to Kristen Goceljak of Little Park who brought a Parusso, 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo Spumante from Piedmont, Italy to wow the judges. Kristen will advance to Grand Cochon to represent New York City in the national finale this fall.
Here are the participating Somms, their affiliations, and the wine they brought to the competition:

NICOLE HAKLI of Momofuku Ssam Bar – Paşaeli, 2015 Karasakız ‘6N’, Aegean, Turkey
KRISTEN GOCELJAK of Little Park – Parusso, 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo Spumante,  Piedmont, Italy
AMY RACINE of Dovetail – Radio-Coteau, 2014 “La Neblina” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA
STEFANIE SWARTZ of Le Coucou – Clos Sainte Magdeleine, 2014 Cassis Blanc ‘Bel-Arme’- Provence, France
CARRIE LYN STRONG of Casa Lever – Ca’del Bosco, 2009 Vintage Selection Brut Franciacorta, Lombardi, Italy

Want to learn more about Somm Smackdown, food and wine pairings, or why Somms love what they do so much? Check out our playlist on YouTube featuring some of the best Somms in the country:
  • EP00 – Trailer
  • EP01 – Romance
  • EP02 – Passion
  • EP03 – Pigs
  • EP04 – Pairing 
  • EP05 – Reflections
  • EP06 – Palettes

You can also find the winning pairings from every Somm Smackdown Competition here.