So my friend Greg judged a little something called COCHON 555 last year and it’s all about promoting sustainable farming for heritage breed pigs (cochon is the french word for piglets and some other descriptions, the more you know).
COCHON 555 originated 7 years ago and it’s a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event – five chefs, five pigs, five winemakers. Due to popular demand, it has developed into a 10 city tour and it kicked off in New York City, obvi.
DINNER SERIES ON FRIDAY NIGHT: To get the festivities started, Root & Bone Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth hosted the first COCHON DINNER SERIES of 2015 and invited 5 NYC Guest Chefs to join them in the kitchen to serve appetizers and a five course sit-down meal with wine pairings by Wines of Germany. Chefs included: Missy Robbins, Elizabeth Falkner, Leah Cohen, Janine Booth and Mame Sow. All proceeds went directly to the James Beard Foundation and of course, I bought a seat.
The dinner was hosted by COCHON555 founder Brady Lowe who introduced the chefs, thanked the sponsors, and described each wine pairing throughout the meal. If you want to see the full dinner, I posted the menu and photos of each course on my instagram page as well as some live behind the scenes shots.
Highlight! Prior to the third course, Brady asked a packed crowd of ambitious pork eaters what the German name is for Pinot Noir… do you have any guesses? Well, our crowd was silent. So Brady offered VIP ENTRY to the main NYC COCHON 555 event and before I knew it, I shouted out “SPÄTBURGUNDER!”, and gave thanks for Google’s existence.
MAIN EVENT ON SUNDAY NIGHT: I rolled up to COCHON555 around 4:30pm and the house was packed. Upon arrival, I ran into friends, rushed to every table to sample the entries and voted for my favorite as soon as the window opened. Chefs Included: Pichet Ong and Andy Yang of Sachi, Hooni Kim of Danji and Hanjan, Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono/Bar Jamon, Francis Derby of The Cannibal, and Mike Santoro of Andaz 5th. If you want to see more pictures of the main event at Andaz 5th Avenue, follow me on instagram and check out who won the 2015 COCHON 555 NEW PORC CITY title in the video below!
Congrats go to Chef Francis Derby of The Cannibal, you are the bomb dot com and NYC’s Newest Prince of Porc! Great job to all of the other four teams, you guys killed it! Cannot wait to see how the rest of the tour pans out and who will be the ultimate King/Queen of Porc in Aspen!
Check out the US TOUR on their website if you want to attend an event near you! Immediately following the ten regional COCHON 555 events, the winners compete at the national finale and the winner of the Grand Cochon is announced “King or Queen of Porc”. The event includes more than 30 chef dishes, butcher demos, reserve wines, craft brews, bartenders, artisan cocktails, bourbon bars, pig-infused sweets and an award ceremony to announce the winner. Top honors at the finale comes with bragging rights and a 4-day wine experience in Spain hosted by Rioja. Good luck to all the participants!