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Food Festival

After an afternoon feasting on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 600 guests, including chefs, somms, barkeeps, and notable judges, gathered at the Hilton Chicago to toast the Chicago Prince of Pork, Cory Morris of Boleo at the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Chef Cory and his team presented a menu utilizing one whole Wild Boar pig raised by Faith Farm. Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe bestowed the winning chef with the regional title in addition to a 4-day wine and gastronomy experience in Rioja, Spain's most prominent wine region. Chef Cory will represent Chicago at Grand Cochon, the national finale on September 30in Chicago. The event also raised $5,300 for 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 a disaster (flood, fire and disease).

To win the culinary competition, more than 30 dishes featuring heritage breed pig were presented by this year’s competing chefs, including Host Chef Mario Garcia from Kitty O’Sheas, Ryan Burns from The Blanchard, Andres Padilla from Topolobampo and Carlos Gaytan from Mexique. To win the trophy, Chef Cory presented a flavored and balanced menu of five dishes to guests and celebrity judges featuring a Wild Boar pig; a small range foraging breed, known for its high percentage of healthy monounsaturated fat, flavor and marbling which has increased their popularity within the chef community. The winning menu included: Escabeche featuring Confit Boar, Red Pepper, Smoked Egg Yolk and Crispy Plantain; Albondingas with Offal Meatballs, Sofrito, White Asparagus and Migas; Tacu-Tacu with Seared Bean, Rice and Boar Cake, Herbs and Rocoto Jus; Feijoada featuring Stewed Boar, Blackbean, Farofa, Ramps and “Boar”Cilla and to end on a sweet note, Tocinillo de Cielo with Saffron Egg Custard, PX Sherry, Shortbread and Pineapple Glazed Lardons.

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Photo credit: Galdones Photography/COCHON555

Additionally, Cochon555 hosted two beverage competitions this year. Somm Smackdown is a wine competition featuring five top sommeliers who select a favorite wine to pair with dishes presented by five competing chefs. Sian Ferguson of Alinea took the trophy with her Vilmart, NV Grand Cellier Rubis Rose from Champagne, France. Punch Kings is a spirit competition featuring five top barkeeps faced with a challenge of making a whole-bottle punch for a panel of 8 notable judges. Samuel Garcia  of Boleo won Punch Kings with his “That’s What’s Up” featuring Coconut Oil-washed Breckenridge Bourbon, Aji Amarillo, Mint Oleo-Saccharum and Fresh Lemon Juice.   A special thanks to Rachel Driver-Spekan of City Winery, Jenni Wagoner of Sepia, Jessica Altieriof Wine Channel TV Network and Cassandra Sakai of Girl & The Goat who rounded out the Somm Smackdown competition and Alexander Acevedo of The Blanchard, Carli Mooney of Kitty O’Sheas, Rob Boyd of Punch House and James Urycki  of Travelle Bar & Kitchen who presented hand-crafted punches for the spirits competition.

All photo credit: Galdones Photography/COCHON555


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