Cochon555 is Coming - Eating High on the Hog

In New York City and in other metropolitan centers, there are easily a half dozen attractive special events each day; many of them fund raisers, vying for attention.


A little chef table display love

One that has proven itself over the past seven years is Cochon555, sometimes called the pig festival.  It’s a fund-raiser, a traveling feast that goes to 18 cities, kicking off in New YorkCochon555 this year will share its bounty with Piggy Bank, awarding free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. 


The nationwide tour is expected to lure some 16,000 guests—tickets are hard to come by—to meet with local farmers, chefs, food producers, craft brewers, distillers and restaurateurs. It’s all in a common cause, raising awareness for principled food producers, responsible farming and the first open-source agriculture platform.


Butchers: Jocelyn Guest and Erika Nakamura breakdown a 200lb heritage breed pig for the Pop-Up Butcher Shop

On January 24th, at Brooklyn’s Weylin B. Seymour hall five chefs will display their culinary chops with five heritage breed pigs and the audience will, of course, get to sample the results.  Guest will also be treated to concurrent and pop-up food, wine, beer, and spirits events at more than three- dozen booths at the hall.  Chefs participating are Justin Smilie of Upland, Hillary Sterling of Vic’s and Danny Mena of Vinegar Hill House, all in Manhattan, and Hillary Sterling of Vic’s in Brooklyn.  


The porcine fest promoting the use of heritage-breed pigs will also include butchering demonstrations in a veritable food hall of gustatory delights centering on 2,000 pounds of pork, complemented by an untold volume of beer, boutique wine and cocktails, and accompanying small plates and desserts.


Plating for the judges

In other cities such as Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and Seattle, the program will also feature local chefs in a similar competition.  The five chefs in each city will prepare six dishes each. The chef garnering the most votes gains entry to a 10-chef cook-off that crowns a King or Queen of Porc (THIS IS THE SUGGESTED SPELLING FOR THE TITLE) at the Viceroy in Snowmass, Apsen on June 18th.  


Chef Mike Santoro’s final presentation for the judges table


On the Friday and Saturday evening’s preceding the New York event, a more intimate seated three-hour culinary experience will be held. It is called the Chef’s Course Dinner series, with tickets available on line at $125 per person. Just 40 seats for each of the Dinner Series programs will be available and all proceeds benefit Piggy Bank.  Tickets to the Sunday event in Brooklyn will be $130.95 for general admission.


The trophy for the prince or princess of porc

Similar   programs will be held in each of the participating cities. All information and request forms are available on line at the Cochon555 website. Volunteers seeking a more intimate, more educational and far less expensive experience can also find information and application forms for the entire tour at the website,Cochon555. Information on several other touring programs coming under the Cochon and Heritage banner is also available on the website. The lineup of cities, in addition to those previously mentioned   includes Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami and Toronto.


Photos: Courtesy of Cochon555


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