Cochon 555, a 3-year-old culinary tour that celebrates heritage breed pigs, is coming to Miami and enlisting the city’s most famous chefs to compete in a competition. The tour aims to showcase heritage pig breeds and promote and popularize the diverse breeds that range from fields as afar as Hungary, Ireland, New Caledonia and China. As factory-tolerant breeds become the norm, these “exotic” breeds numbers have been dwindling. So, Cochon aims to save these animals… by eating them. Heritage pigs are typically raised outdoors and allowed to forage and eat natural diets and, with their higher prices, are a bit of a delicacy, albeit a very sustainable one.
The tour teams up with local chefs from the best restaurants, that also happen to know a thing or two about these special breeds. This year, the roster includes Dena Marino of MC Kitchen, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar and, Jose Mendin of Pubbelly. The chefs compete by preparing six dishes created from one entire heritage pig – nose to tail. Judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken. “Heritage Breed Pigs celebrate the history of the animal and this humane treatment is something all chefs should be behind,” explains Mendin. “I’m so excited to compete, I can barely stand it. Such a great line-up of chefs; I’m eager to see what everyone puts out. Game on.”
Last years winner, Chef Brooks will begin the weekend with a guest dinner on Friday night at EDGE Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons. And the winner? Besides hosting a dinner next year, they go on to compete at the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen where the final winner will be dubbed the “King (or Queen) of Pork” and win a 4-day trip to Rioja, Spain.
The event will take place at the Four Seasons on Sunday, February 9 from 4-8 p.m. Tickets are $125 for general admission and $200 VIP, which includes early admission and premium access to limited experiences, wines and spirits; to purchase tickets visit http://cochon555.com/.