Taste of DC was held over the weekend – Saturday & Sunday – right on Pennsylvania Ave. Once the rain stopped threatening the fun on Saturday, event goers had access to some of DC’s best food trucks, and restaurants all while listening to live music. Free samples galore (did you check out what British Airways was serving?!), there was no shortage of food, drink, and entertainment. However there was one event we anticipated above all others. Sure, there was the Ben’s Chili Bowl World Chili Eating Championship (sorry – we haven’t jumped on that gravy train yet), and Cochon 555’s Punch Kings competition, but what we were most looking forward to was Cochon555’s Heritage BBQ Tour presented by Goose Island Beer Co.
Perhaps you attended the previous Cochon555 event at Union Market last March. If you did, you already know what you missed out on, and we totally accept a *headdesk* as a valid response to your non-attendance. If you haven’t been to a Cochon555 event yet… shame on you.
“…Heritage BBQ by Cochon 555, is the first national BBQ competition dedicated to supporting a new direction for heritage breed pigs by expanding the conversation to a global economy. Created by Cochon 555 Founder Brady Lowe, Heritage BBQ engages existing BBQ restaurants in the local and sustainable food conversation taking place nationwide while simultaneously breaking ground on a new hyper-local, globally-themed, farm-supporting BBQ.” ~ Cochon 555
This is where it gets good. Each competitor is given a 200lb heritage pig and is tasked with making six different dishes. This year’s chef competitors included Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto, Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak, George Pagonis of Kapnos and Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley. In addition to the chef competition, Heritage BBQ also welcomed six additional chefs to participate in Cochon 555’s new “BBQ Traditions” series – each chef preparing one dish from their favorite global BBQ culture. Participating chefs included Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia, Benjamin Nola and Alec Bradford of Leaping Waters Farm, Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom, Haidar Korum of Doi Moi, Ed Witt of The Partisan and Craig Hartman of Barbeque Exchange.
Cooking up everything from whole pig pork and beans, to pork blood red velvet cupcakes, and spicy Thai sausages – a total of 36 dishes were served during the event. That’s a LOT of pork. Scott Drewno, a two-time Cochon 555 winner, walked away with the much deserved first place title.
Tickets for Cochon 555 events aren’t exactly cheap (we’re talking $100 for general admission and $200 for VIP), but they certainly make sure you get your money’s worth. The three-hour long event also offered samplings of Rappahannock River Oysters, cheeses, charcuterie, unlimited craft beer from Goose Island Beer Co. (we always love their Sofia and Maltida beers), Mezcal tasting, hand crafted cocktails from Four Roses, Anakota wines, flights of four bourbon punches found right near the entrance to the event, and one of our favorites (as you can see below) the Bourbon Bar mixing up five different “Best Manhattans” featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Templeton Rye, and Four Roses, all with Luxardo cherries.
We’re already anticipating the next time Cochon 555 tours through the District. We love the sense of community their events bring, while creatively touting the flavor and benefits of eating heritage breed pigs from their rich and hearty taste of their meat to supporting local farmers.
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