Culinary Competition Spotlights Family Farms
Cochon 555 returns to New York City on Jan. 25, 2015 to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs, and today’s emerging chef community.
Attendees of this culinary competition embark on a journey to the new hyper local culinary landscape, one whole pig at a time.
Entering its seventh year, Cochon 555 is aligned with the good food movement with notable chefs, barrier breaking women, artist-like butchers, spirited bartenders, top winemakers, brewers, distillers, and brazen pastry talent working together to prepare a feast celebrating responsible family farming.
The kickoff event features five chefs cooking five pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. This year’s competing chefs include Mike Santoro of Andaz 5th Avenue, the official host and hotel, Francis Derby of The Cannibal, Andy Yang and Pichet Ong of Sachi, Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono y Bar Jamon, and Hooni Kim of Danji.
The five chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges.
Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, last year’s Cochon 555 winner, will lead the pack of judges in selecting New York’s “Prince of Porc.” Other notable judges include Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Thomas Schneller of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and Michael Toscano of Perla.
The winner goes on to compete for the title of "King or Queen of Porc” at the tour finale in June, the Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen, and is rewarded with a four day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
The event includes more than 36 chef-prepared dishes in an all-inclusive stand up reception with notable tastings from Wines of Germany and St. Francis Wines. Cochon’s “pop-up” culinary experiences include Wines of Rioja Tapas Bar spotlighting a chef and perfect slices of artisan cured Prosciutto di Parma.
Upon arrival, guests will enjoy Buffalo Trace’s “Welcome Punch Reception” paired with delicious bites from La Brea Bakery. Attendees will sample foods at signature experiences like the Artisan Cheese Shop, Rappahannock Oyster Shelf, and the infamous TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms.
Bourbon and whiskey lovers can explore the “Perfect Manhattan Experience” featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, and Breckenridge Bourbon finished with Luxardo cherries in this hand-prepared classic topped with a special treat from Creminelli. Guests of VIP can enjoy samples from five of the city’s best barkeeps as they compete in Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Bourbon.
The Pop-Up Butcher Shop returns to the event with the support of Williams-Sonoma with a live butchering demonstration with Erika Nakamura of The Breslin, raising money for the supporting culinary school.
New sponsors in 2015 include Visit Houston featuring a notable chef tasting, Urbani Truffles, and PANNA’s new Simmer app. Finally, before the awards ceremony, the signature “Swine and Sweets”course will be served followed by an awards toast and announcement of the winner.
The weekend takeover commences Friday Jan. 23rd with the Chef’s Course Dinner, a seated five-course dinner prepared by five guest chefs featuring the Wines of Germany.
On Saturday, the Large Format “PDC” Dinner spotlights a prominent steakhouse and St. Francis Winery paired with Creekstone Farms. Enthusiasts who register early for VIP tickets can sign up for a wine seminar from Wines of Germany.
“I’m excited about all the new partners in 2015 who support family farming, independent business, and heritage breed pigs. Each event aims to lessen the burden on the small farmers to hold surplus inventory and streamline the sales process,” says Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555.
“This year we continue to expand with a guest chef and winemaker dinner series over the course of each weekend, a revamped welcome reception, and a flavorful lineup of experiences that support a more natural, sustainable food system. Together, with some of the best chefs and partners, we amplify the conversation of heritage pork, which for many is a ‘gateway meat’ to a larger appreciation of where our food comes from and the people that raise it, leading to more mindful eating.”