Cochon 555, the nation’s premier culinary tour that touts the flavor and health benefits of eating heritage breed pigs, is coming to New Pork City! In response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds, Taste Network’s Brady Lowe created Cochon 555 in 2009, and it has thrived as an event series taking place across the country. Since its launch, Cochon 555 and its programs have supported responsible family farming across the country by allowing 50,000 people to taste heritage pigs and by donating more than $300,000 to charities and more than $500,000 directly to great farmers across the country.
Heritage breed pigs come from bloodlines dating back hundreds of years when livestock was raised on multi-use, open-pasture farms. Because of their lifestyle and inherent genes, different breeds became known for a variety of characteristics, including the rich and hearty taste of their meat, distinct marbling, bacon flavors and creamy fat. Today, these breeds still carry excellent qualities, but many are not suited for commercial farming practices and as a result, are in danger of being lost forever. We can help preserve heritage breeds by consuming them. Their future is reliant upon farmers who can afford to raise them and the enthusiasts that create a demand for their treasured meat.
2014's New York event kicks off on January 26th with an all-star lineup of five chefs, five pigs and five wineries to celebrate breed diversity and family farming.
This year’s competing chefs include Frank Langello of Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Michael Toscano of Perla, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, Lauren Hirschberg of Craftbar, and David Standridge of Market Table. The five chefs will battle by preparing a maximum of six dishes each created from one whole heritage breed pig to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges including Christine M. Quinlan of Food & Wine, Lafayette's Damon Wise, Hearth's Marco Canora, Del Posto's Mark Ladner, and Corwin Kave, the 2009 Prince of Porc. Kave will prepare a 6th heritage breed pig in a late-night Asian Speakeasy format combined with Swine & Sweets new “Ice Cream Social” featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, that guests can enjoy family-style.
The winner will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June for bragging rights as the "King or Queen of Porc” and a four-day wine experience to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
In addition to 30 chef-prepared dishes, at Cochon 555 guests can experience:
• The Goose Nest, an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
• A welcome cocktail featuring Four Roses Bourbon.
• Live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop by Sara Bigelow of The Meat Hook, benefitting the Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park.
• Different ages of Prosciutto di Parma ranging between 14 and 30 months, sliced by a roaming Berkel and by hand off a bone-in leg.
• Five local barkeeps in the “Punch Kings”cocktail competition presented by Breckenridge Bourbon.
• An artisan cheese bar with Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery.
• TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms and Mark Ladner of Del Posto.
• A Perfect Manhattan Experience bar, a Mezcal Bar, Crispin Cider, Wines of Rioja, Jordan Winery and Rappahannock Oysters.
Cochon 555 will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m at The Ritz-Carlton New York, 2 West St. Tickets are $125 for general admission and $200 for VIP (early admission and premium access to limited experiences, wines and spirits).