Cochon 555 finished its seventh year with a sold out weekend at Morgan Manufacturing. The Chicago winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition, Chef Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen, was enthroned as the Princess of Porc and moves on to the Grand Cochon, a pork-fueled tournament in June. Cochon 555 features the porkeratti of the good food movement, with the signature event uniting an all-star lineup of chefs, judges and sponsors to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and today’s emerging chef community.
Throughout the event, a series of activations like the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, with support of Williams-Sonoma, featured a live butchering demonstration with Rob Levitt of Butcher & Larder and raised $1,255 for the supporting culinary students from Kendall College.
"It’s always amazing to be in Chicago; it was an honor to be surrounded by such a diverse and talented group of chefs. A big thank you to Morgan Manufacturing, the host of the event, to everyone who participated and a much-deserved congratulations to winning Chef Nicole. It was such an amazing turnout, we had three completely sold out events and I’m truly honored to have collaborated with a team of amazing chefs, sponsors and partners who worked together to put so much energy toward the good food movement.”Cochon founder Brady Lowe
This year’s competing chefs included Nathan Sears of The Radler, John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina, Chris Marchino of Spiaggia Restaurant & Lounge and Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski of TÊTE Charcuterie alongside winner Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen. The chefs prepared dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from family farms in a head to tail showcase for a crowd of pork-loving gourmands. Chef Nicole won the event with a rare, but well-known breed of pig called the Hereford raised by Catalpa Grove. This breed originates from the U.S. beginning in the 1920’s and yields rich colored, marbled meat, which provided Chef Nicole ideal flavor for her winning menu of six uniquely created delicious bites. Dishes included Pork Au Feu Et Cou Farci, Pickled Pig Part Pani Puri Poppers, Pork Loin Salad, Pork Belly Huaraches, Eastern Thai Style Rice Sausage and a Smoked Lard Candy Bar.
Tim Graham, Chicago’s 2014 “Prince of Porc,” alongside Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia, and past Chicago champion and 2012 “King of Porc,” Jason Vincent helped to select the 2015 “Princess of Porc.” Chef Nicole will go on to represent Chicago against the other nine cities’ winners in Grand Cochon.