With a cast of chefs who specialize in whole animal cooking paired with farmers responsibly raising heritage breed pigs, Cochon555 returns to Chicago on Sunday, March 3rd. The all-inclusive feast will feature a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps all working in concert to create moments that educate the palate. At the heart, Cochon555 aims to create moments of inspiration, and to engender discussion and action - to buy, to cook, shop and donate in the name of safe and honest food. For an in-depth look at the Cochon555 movement, and to purchase tickets, visit http://cochon555.com/us-tour/2019-chicago/
Cochon555 has announced this year’s group of chefs from across the city, each cooking one whole heritage breed pig raised by a family farm. This year’s competing chefs include Chef Cory Morris of Nacional 27, Chef Jake Chappell of Vincent, Chef Chris Thompson of Coda di Volpe, Chef Brian Enyart and Chef Jennifer Jones Enyart of Dos Urban Cantina, and Chef Daniel Espinoza of Cantina Laredo. One week before the event, each chef receives a 200-pound heritage breed pig sustainably sourced from Catalpa Grove Farm, 1936 Meadowbrook Farm, 3 Winds Farm, Slagel Family Farm, and Honey Bee Acres, to create a maximum of 6 dishes for competition. One chef from Chicago will be crowned for their whole pig cookery skills. With dozens of bites from local chefs, boutique distillers, and artisan winemakers, the event is akin to a tasting menu of heritage breed pork with endless beverage pairings.
To win the friendly competition for a cause, a chef’s menu must woo 14 celebrity judges with their “Judge’s Plate” scored on utilization, technique, overall flavor, and be voted “best bite of the day” by guests. The winning “Prince or Princess of Pork” in Chicago will advance to the national finale, Grand Cochon, a head-to-tail, winner-takes-all showdown for the crown in Chicago on September 15, 2019. Additionally, running in tandem are two satellite beverage competitions to complement the whole-animal tilt; Punch Kings presented by El Tesoro Tequila, a whole bottle, large-format spirit competition featuring five barkeeps in a hand-crafted punch challenge and Somm Smackdown, a face-off of five sommeliers pairing the best wine with heritage pig.
Official Host: Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60642
When: March 3, 2019
Time: 4 p.m. for VIP entry ($200), 5 p.m. for General Admission ($130)
Buy Tickets: http://cochon555.com/us-tour/2019-chicago/
VIP Access $200 With an extra hour, get up close with chefs, winemakers and farmers who make it all happen. Chefs serve up two preview dishes to entice your palate while professional bartenders and sommeliers bring their best game forward with specialty cocktails at Punch Kings and reserve wines from Somm Smackdown.
General Admission $130 A two and a half hour culinary experience. Feast on responsibly raised heritage breed pig, ethically sourced food, a variety of beverages from local craft breweries, distilleries and wineries.
Placing the spotlight on “knowing where your food comes from," each event features an educational whole animal butchery program called the Pop-Up Butcher Shop and charitable Silent Auction. This year’s headlining butcher is Rob Levitt from Butcher & Larder. Together with gifts from chefs, sponsors and John Boos & Co., he will raise money to benefit Piggy Bank, a start-up farm in Missouri that serves as a kickstarter for new family farms and a safety net for those in the wake of disaster (flood, fire and disease). As an accelerator, Piggy Bank supplies piglets to small farms in exchange for business plans that are posted online in the name of transparent “open-source agriculture”.
Dishes for the competition are just the beginning -- all in, we’re talking about 1,500 pounds of responsibly raised heritage breed pork. Guests will enjoy preparations and cocktails from kitchens and bars in Chicago. Start the event by exploring the Cheese Bar curated by local cheese mongers. Sip sparklers from LaCroix, cocktails from Wheatley Vodka and Diplomático Rum, and enjoy the Manhattan Project featuring bourbons from Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace topped with Luxardo cherries. Enjoy tastings from the Whiskey Five featuring Bulleit Bourbon, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Singleton, Buchanan and more. Learn about pairings at the Surf & Turf TarTare Bar aligned to the wines of Patz & Hall and taste through the portfolio of Azzuro Wine Company. Guests wanting a sweet bite with a savory twist will enjoy desserts spotlighting pastry chefs working with Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Placing the spotlight on “knowing where your food comes from", the event will feature an educational whole animal butchery program called the Pop-Up Butcher Shop and Silent Auction with gifts from chefs, sponsors and John Boos & Co., to benefit the sister charity, Piggy Bank. As the Official Card of Cochon555 Chicago, Citicard members will receive a gift by flashing their Citi Credit Card or Citibank Debit Card.
“We’re incredibly excited to return to Chicago during our 2019 tour,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “The tour is about uplifting small, family farmers through epic culinary moments. We create and restore connections between the farmer and chef who want to raise, source and serve food with purpose and passion. Together, through eating, we become stewards of the good food movement, motivating change and celebrating ‘landscapers' who lead us to a safer and more delicious future.”