These are meaty times in New York City. With Cochon 555 this weekend and next month’s Charcuterie Masters, I’m going to be in hog heaven. As a lover of the smoky arts and heritage breed pigs I’m excited for this year’s Cochon 555. Heck I’m even making the trek to Brooklyn for it. The event pairs five chefs—Justin Smillie of Upland, Angie Mar of The Beatrice Inn, Hillary Sterling of Vic’s, Danny Mena of Hecho en Dumbo and Mike Poiarkoff of Vinegar Hill—with five heritage breed pigs, including mulefoots, old spots, large blacks, and Berkshire breeds.
The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. As a veteran of the competitive BBQ circuit I can’t wait to see—and eat—what the chefs make, I’m particularly stoked for Angie Mar’s creation.
This year’s judges include Jacob Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand, Thomas Schneller of The Culinary Institute of America, Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono, Ryan Hardy of Charlie Bird, Cesare Casella, Cristiano Creminelli of Creminelli Fine Meats, Christian Pappanicholas of The Cannibal, Frank Langello of Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, and Brad Farmerie of Public. The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Princess or Prince of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King or Queen of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass/Aspen on June 18th
This year’s tour benefits Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. Guests buying an all-inclusive ticket get access to over 40 of the best bites prepared by top chefs, endless action on artisan wines selected by notable sommeliers and Cochon555’s epic culinary cocktail program. To purchase tickets click here.