Dozens of amazing pork dishes on the banks of the Mississippi River during the 2013 Cochon Heritage BBQ event in Memphis, Tennessee.
'Cochon 555' on Serious Eats
I think my body is only just starting to forgive me for the havoc I wreaked on it at Sunday's Cochon 555. Now, I take full responsibility for my bad behavior—the end-of-night mezcal shots were probably not totally necessary. But really, when it comes to an event honoring the literal whole hog, you gotta go big.
I had the opportunity to serve as a judge in Seattle's Cochon 555, a competition where local chefs take on heritage pigs with delicious results. Here's my point of view, from the judge's table. This was true nose-to-tail eating, most prominent in the long-cooking broths with head parts, the ubiquitous use of lardo, the addictive chicharrones, and the appearance of pork in the desserts.
Cochon 555 took over Pier 60 yesterday, where five of New York's swankiest female chefs used whole heritage hogs in their menus, paired with five wineries and a slew of bourbon and mezcal tables, and an entire Berkshire hog was butchered by Sara Bigelow of The Meat Hook and raffled off. We ate and drank our way around the room and brought you our 13 favorite moments, and the team that took home the gold.
Cochon 555, the traveling celebration of heritage pork, hits New York on February 10th, and with a lineup of chefs Missy Robbins, Shana Pacifico, Alex Guarnashelli, Leah Cohen, and Elizabeth Falkner, tickets are moving fast. But we're giving away two VIP spots to the event right here.
Sunday marked the first-annual All-Star Cochon 555. Perhaps inevitably, this over-the-top love letter to all things pork was held in Vegas, the capital of over-the-top decadence, at the new Cosmopolitan Hotel. Winners and fan-favorites of Cochon 555, the traveling snout-to-tail pig cook-off, converged to show off their best swine bites, both savory and sweet. Headcheese, sliders, and porky spins on summer sweets (think cotton candy and snow cones) were in full-effect, as were pig puns.
Seattle chefs brought their A-game to Sunday's Cochon 555, the Super Bowl of Sustainable Swine. And by A-game, I mean pork belly topped with kimchi, bacon brittle gelato, pork blood ravioli, Scrapple Bomba, ham topped with "lardonnaise", trotter fritters, lard biscuits and much, much more. The event, which hits eight cities in the U.S., was created to showcase family farms raising heritage breed pigs.
Cochon 555 is a traveling series of food events featuring a competition of acclaimed local chefs cooking with heritage pigs. On Sunday night, the eighth in the 11-city tour was held in Chicago (the New York event was reviewed here on Serious Eats). Put on by Taste Network, an Atlanta-based company that does marketing and promotion for the artisan wine and cheese industries, the events serve three purposes. First, they increase awareness of heritage pigs and the food politics that go along with them. Second, they raise the profile of Taste Network. And third, the events serve as a fundraiser for charities related to the concept of eating locally produced, artisan-crafted foods. The Chicago event benefited Farms for City...
All photographs by Joe DiStefano. The Del Posto booth. Just one whiff upon walking into the Hiro Ballroom on Sunday afternoon was enough to get a preview of what was in store at Cochon555—the gentle, soothing aroma of smoked...