Chef Diego Oka of La Mar by GastÃ³n Acurio at Mandarin Oriental, Miami was crowned as the â€œPrince of Porcâ€ at Cochon555 Miami, held at Ritz-Carlton South Beach, official host and hotel. Chef Diego willÂ go on to compete for the national title of â€œKing or Queen of Porcâ€ at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th.
The evening was a friendly competition of five chefs withÂ five heritage breed pigs,Â benefitingÂ Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. This yearâ€™s competing chefs include Anthony LePape of Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon, Alex Chang of Vagabond, Michael Fiorello of Beachcraft and Diego Oka of La Mar.Â The food was hyper-local and eating for a cause has never tasted so good.
Culinary program included a welcome bite prepared by Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianneâ€™s Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar, the TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms featuring Richard Hales of Blackbrick, the â€œLuxe Butter Barâ€ featuring the wines of Antica Napa Valley and La Brea Bakery, the Artisan Cheese Bar featuring Cypress special bites from Creminelli Fine Meats, California Olive Ranch, Florida Fresh Meat Company, the new Seafood Shelf with Mignonette featuring Rappahannock River Oysters, andÂ a butchering demonstration with Andres Barrientos of Miami Smokers.
Everyone casting a vote for the best bite of the eveningÂ receivedÂ a ticket to â€œTaste the Newâ€ Ramen Bar prepared by Jose Mendin of Pubbelly paired with the stunning Wines of Germany and featuring Sun Noodle, followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop with The Good Pie Company right before the awards ceremony. All guests hadÂ the opportunity to bid onÂ delicious heritage breed pork from the Pop-Up Butcher Shop,Â hosted by celebrated emcee Billy Harris of Hanging with Harris. Evening also featured sounds by world-renown DJ Lord of Public Enemy in a Tribute Performance called “Cuba Is Back”.