Mark your calendars. Cochon 555 is coming back to Union Market in Washington DC March 22 for an epic, one-of-a-kind culinary competition. For those unfamiliar with Cochon 555, it’s a 20-city tour created by Taste Network’s Brady Lowe in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds with the purpose of educating goers through hyper-local events supporting education, awareness and growth of family farms. Plus, heritage breed pigs are known for their rich and hearty meat flavor, distinct marbling, and creamy fat.
This year’s competing chefs, each cooking a pig and utilizing all the parts from snout to tail creating 6 individual dishes include Spike Mendelsohn (Bearnaise), Victor Albisu (Del Campo & Taco Bamba), Jeffrey Buben (Vidalia), Danny Lee (Mandu) and Jonah Kim (Yona). The five chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. The winner will be determined by attendees and judges – Erik Bruner-Yang, Bryan Voltaggio, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Kyle Bailey, Nick Stefanelli, & Cathy Rhine - with the winner going on to compete in the Grand Cochon event in Snowmass/Aspen this summer for the title of ”King or Queen of Porc”.
The 2015 DC version of this event begins as soon as guests step through the doors with Buffalo Trace’s “Welcome Punch Reception”, and goes on to include tastings from Washington State Wine and Wines of Rioja, Petit Format Bar featuring a selection of half-bottles, the Wines of Rioja Tapas Bar spotlighting delicacies of Agromar, Mezcal Chupito Bar (stop by to enter their sweepstakes), Artisan Cheese Bar from Righteous Cheese, Rappahannock Oyster Shelf, Red Apron Butcher Bacon, Black River Caviar and the TarTare Bar featuring Kyle Bailey from Birch and Barley. We know, that was a lot of stuff, but we’re not done yet. Returning this year is the Whistle Pig Rye and the “Perfect Manhattan Experience” (the only Manhattan we like) featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, New Holland Artisan Spirits and Hirsch with Luxardo cherries. VIP guests can also enjoy samples from five of DC’s best bartenders while they compete in the Punch Kings competition. And finally, the Pop-Up Butcher Shop also returns this year with a live butchering demonstration by Alexia Sutter of Red Apron Butcher raising money for Le Cordon Blue. On the way out, don’t forget a special gift from La Brea Bakery.
There are several ticket options ranging from VIP and General admission to VIP + Chef’s Course loyalty and an option to pre-purchase the Cochon cookbook as part of your ticket price. General admission is $125, and VIP is $200 and includes entry an hour earlier. After the event ends all guests are invited to the Chef’s After Party.
When: March 22, 4pm (VIP) or 5pm (GA)
Where: Union Market – 1309 5th St NE Washington, D.C. 20002
Cost: $200 (VIP) or $125 (GA)
* All photos courtesy of COCHON 555
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