Cochon555 Returning to Colorado

Vail is one of 10 stops for peripatetic pork competition and tasting event

Cochon555-logoI attended the Denver visit of the first year of the COCHON 555 tour and was blown away by the butchering, the food, the wine and the restaurant biz collegiality for many of the guests were chefs or others in the local hospitality business. (Click here for my report.) Alas, the event has never returned to the Mile High City, but Vail is the third of 10 stops in 2013 — the fifth anniversary of this event that was created to promote sustainable farming in general and heritage-breed pigs in particular.

It takes place at the Four Seasons Vail on Sunday, March 10 and features five chefs, five pigs and five winemakers. The chefs — Alex Seidel of Fruition, Hose Rosenberg of Blackbelly Catering, Jason Harrison of Flame Resturant in the Four Seasons Vail, Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken and Lon Symensma of ChoLon — are challenged to prepare a menu from the entirety of one 200-pound family-raised heritage breed of pig, nose-to-tail.Bill Greenwood of Beano’s Cabin is doing the butchering, and Julian Smith of Bol Vail is preparing a “family meal” of barbecue. el

Twenty judges who are described as “culinary luminaries” and 400 guests help decide the winning chef by voting on the “best bite of the day.”. The winner will be crowned the Prince of Porc (or presumably Princess of Porc) and will compete at Grand Cochon event at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on Sunday, June 16.

New additions in 2013 — some just for VIP level guests — include the launch of a cocktail competition called “Punch Kings” featuring Breckenridge Bourbon, prepared by six local bartenders, plus the new TarTare Bar round out the exclusive VIP hour. All attendees can watch butcher demonstrations, inhale sustainable oysters, taste creative pork dishes from all the chefs, pay a visit to the Manhattan Bar or new Chupito Bar featuring Mezcals, the amazing Cheese Bar, ice-cold brew from Anchor Brewing, pork-spiked desserts and cold-brewed coffee to close out the evening. Tickets are $125 to $150 plus a $10.38 to $14.75  service charge and can be ordered online. The Four Seasons Vail has lodging for those too comatose to go elsewhere!