The 5th anniversary of Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event created to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs, arrived in Miami on Sunday, April 21 at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. The pork-centric tour gathered together five chefs, five pigs and five wineries, Â and bringing its message of nose-to-tail cooking, breed diversity and family farming to food enthusiasts nationwide.
Cochon 555 challenged five local chefs to prepare a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. The competing chefs were Aaron Brooks (Four Season Hotel Miami); Timon Balloo (Sugarcane); Jeffrey McInnis (Yardbird); David Thomas (The Bazaar) and Cesar Zapata (The Federal).
Guests were treated to an epic pork feast alongside wines from five small family-owned wineries including Elk Cove Vineyards, Bethel Heights, Hamacher, Montinore, and Alloro plus special tastings from Vibrant Rioja, Anchor Brewing, Eminent Domaine, Crispin Ciders, and Illegal Mezcal. Twenty judges and 400 guests help choose the winning chef, so called the Prince of Pork, and this year it was Chef Aaron Brooks ofÂ Edge Steak and Bar in Four Season Hotel Miami.Â Â ChefÂ Aaron BrooksÂ will compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on Sunday, June 16.
The evening includedÂ a preview of the new Heritage BBQ event in which Conor Hanlon of The Dutch rolled out family meal, an additional whole pig cooked barbecue-style immediately preceding the awards. VIP guests received early access to the event and special offerings including a special tasting with three competing chefs. The VIP hour was filled with experiences that were not be found on the main floor such as access to “Punch Kings” – a new cocktail competition featuring Breckenridge Bourbon and six local bartenders, a VIP-only gift bag, the all-new Tartare Bar, Rappahannock River Oysters, and reserve wines and spirits. In addition, to celebrate five years of Heritage Breeds, Cochon added five bourbons to the lineup.Â Also new in 2013 was the Chupito/Mezcal Bar, a tasting experience featuring Mezcales de Leyenda, Pierde Almas and Fidencio.
The fun continued when Miyabi/Zwilling USA present a butcher demonstration featuring Sara Bigelow of The Meat Hook and a raffle to benefit the student volunteers, ice-cold brews, Champagne toast, award ceremony, Fernet Branca digestifs, pork-spiked desserts, and of course, the after party immediately followede at Edge Restaurant & Bar with food and drink specials.