Friday, February 21, 2014

Park it at the pork party of the year: Cochon 555

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM

  • Courtesy Galdones Photography/Cochon 555

Cows, chickens and pigs all have their backers, as far as most delicious, but it's the latter for me every time. Ribs, pork shoulder, chops, pork belly, prosciutto, capicola, guanciale, pancetta, lardo, bacon, ham, pork sausage ... all are almost better than breathing.

Cochon 555 gets it, and for the sixth year, the touring pork orgy comes to Denver on March 9, putting noted regional chefs in front of heritage breed pigs.

"This year’s competing chefs include Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja [Indy review], Paul C. Reilly of Beast + Bottle, Justin Brunson of Old Major [Indy review], Bill Greenwood of Beano’s Cabin and Steve Redzikowski of OAK at fourteenth," says a press release.

"The five chefs, champions to the pig, will battle it out in a friendly competition 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. In celebration of the tour’s 6th anniversary, Jason Nauert of The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat will butcher a pig for the audience, and Brian Busker and Toru Watanabe of Matsuhisa Vail will prepare an additional late-night sixth pig in an Asian Speakeasy style before dessert and the awards ceremony."

Winners of the competition go on to compete at the Grand Cochon at the ridiculously over-the-top Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. 

Tickets aren't cheap —  $130.95 for general admission,  $208.00 for VIP — but get you all this:
The 1,200+ pound showcase of heritage pig carved into 30 chef-prepared dishes will also include:

• The Goose Nest, an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
• Live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, benefitting the students of Johnson & Wales with the support of Williams-Sonoma.
• 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.
• “Punch Kings” cocktail competition featuring five local barkeeps presented by Breckenridge Bourbon.
• A welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon.
• The Bourbon Bar presented by Breadcrumb by Groupon featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo.
• Libations include the portfolio of Crispin Ciders, Wines of Rioja, Cochon Rose, Hill Family Estate, The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery, and a Mezcal Bar featuring Mezcales de Leyenda and Fidencio Mezcal.
• TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms and John Little of Harman’s Eat and Drink.
• An artisan cheese bar with Cured Boulder featuring Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery.
• Swine & Sweets signature dessert course featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

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