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Food Festival

When: Sunday, April 23, 5pm
Where: Morgan Manufacturing (401 N Morgan St) 


Cochon555 s back on the road with its national nose-to-tail pig cooking tour. Cochon555 brings its 2017 edition - which will hit some 16 cities - to Chicago on April 23, and the focus of the festivities will be culinary community and education. The Sunday event will be held in the contemporary surrounds of Morgan Manufacturing. From bartenders and distillers to chefs and barkeeps, some of the city’s most celebrated hospitality talents will take guests on a journey that’s equally dedicated to safe foodways, deliciousness, and whole-hog cookery. To further champion the good food movement, a portion of all proceeds goes to Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank.  

At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition to promote local family farming and global traditions. Five local chefs are each given one whole, heritage breed pig and one week to prepare the whole animal of 200 pounds. Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. A panel of 20 notable judges selects a winner, who will then be crowned Chicago’s “Prince or Princess of Porc.” Running in tandem with the main cook-off are the Somm Smackdown (sommeliers facing off for the best pig/wine match) and Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Distillery (barkeeps battling in whole-bottle competition). The winners of all events will be flown to Chicago to compete in the winner-takes-all finale, Grand Cochon, to be held this year on October 1. 

“We’re incredibly excited to return to Chicago during our 2017 tour” - Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe

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Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes - all told, 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork raised on family farms - guests can also nosh on dozens of innovative preparations from some of the most critically-acclaimed kitchens in Chicago. Other spreads on offer include a delectable dessert bar featuring Perfect Puree of Napa Valley; a pop-up bakery with artisan breads from La Brea Bakery; the Creminelli Salami Snack Bar with Divina; a Farmstead Cheese Table spotlighting artisan cheeses and pate; a Luxury Butter Bar; a pop-up ramen bar paired with racy wines from Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars; and a beef tartare tasting featuring the wines of Antica Napa Valley.

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Looking back on the 2016 event in Chicago, Chef Sarah Grueneberg  won with with a Mangalitsa breed of pig raised by Meadowbrook Farm. Originating from Hungary in the early 1800’s, the Mangalitsa is a very rare breed characterized by its course, wooly coat and ability to withstand extreme conditions. It is known for its high-quality, lard-type fat and high percentage of marbling, which worked in tandem with Chef Sarah’s winning menu of six uniquely created delicious bites that celebrated Chicago’s diverse culinary neighborhoods. Dishes included: Southside - Bar-b-Q Rib Rillettes: Lard, Whole Rib, Shoulder, West Loop - Pig Skin Tortellini in Brodo: Lard, Bones, Skin, Shoulder, Feet, Back Fat, Chinatown - Xi’an Spicy Pork Flatbread: Lard, Belly, Ham, Coppa, Ukrainian Village - Offal-ly Pierogi: Lard, Kidney, Heart, Brain, Cheek, Pilson - Tamales De Cabeza & Piggy Backs: Lard, Head, Ears, Tongue and Little Italy - Crema di Lardo Cannoli: Lard, Back Fat.


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