We Might in Fact Need Help From Some Kind of Porcine SuperHero This Weekend. Image courtesy Cochon 555.
This is a town with no shortage of heritage breed pig roasts, but all the same, I’m seriously looking forward to judging the second annual Cochon 555 this Sunday afternoon. The swine-centric shindig-it takes place in 10 cities nationwide, with a final showdown at the Aspen Food & Wine Fest this summer-pits the whole pig-cooking skills five chefs from each city up against one another on Pier Sixty on the Hudson River.
In New York, Cochon 555 has curated an outstandingly impressive roster of cooks: Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Corwin Kave of Fatty ‘Cue, Marco Canora of Hearth (our last Back of the House profile), Adam Kaye of Blue Hill New York, and Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud.
Those guys bring the whole pigs they’ve prepared earlier this week, and the crowds get to sample what organizers say is going to tally up to 750 pounds of heritage breed pork each paired with a wine from a family-run vineyard from a different region (Elk Cove, Gamble, Wind Gap, K Vintners and Buty Winery). And I get to help pick Manhattan’s 2010 Prince of Porc.
That seems gastronomically taxing enough to me-what, you think eating the world’s most delicious piggies makes for an easy afternoon?—but there’s also a pre-event tasting for special ticket holders where there’ll be oysters, a display from Murray’s Cheese, Brooklyn Brewery beers, La Quercia cured hams, Shinn Estate Vineyard wines from Long Island and demo from our favorite Brooklyn butcher, Tom Mylan of The Meat Hook. Plus Josh Applestone of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed Meats will be on tap to answer any and all questions you might have on slaughtering heritage proteins.
Even if you aren’t a VIP ticket holder, the meaty main stage will host another butcher breaking down a whole pig, with the parts raffled off around the room, as well as bacon-kicked chocolates from Roni-Sue’s, the Essex Market chocolatier we profiled in our last issue.
And even though it seems Cochon 555 was initiated to promote um, pure indulgence on a Sunday afternoon, it’s actually about raising money for Farms for City Kids and saving heritage breeds-older, tasty breeds of pork no longer in widespread production. Sadly, if you haven’t already snapped up a ticket, it’s already sold out. But you can follow our Twitter feed (@ediblemanhattan) if you want the mouthful-by-mouthful during the event, and of course you can read my pork fat-filled wrap up here next week. When I’ll be fasting, naturally.