Five top Colorado chefs in heritage pork competition.
In a recent post, I shared the good news for Denver foodies that Cochon 555, a chef competition created to showcase the wonderful meat that comes from heritage pigs, is returning to Denver on March 9 after a five-year absence. The event features five top local five chefs, five pigs and five wineries to celebrate breed diversity and family farming. Ruben Garcia, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Denver, will lead the panel of judges in selecting Denver’s Prince or Princess of Porc, who will go on to the national finals at the 2014 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.
The chefs were selected on the basis of their support of the local food and farming community, raw culinary talent and commitment to whole animal utilization, with extra credit for naming specific heritage breeds and citing specific farms on their menus.
- Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver
- Paul C. Reilly, Beast & Bottle, Denver.
- Justin Brunson, Old Major, Denver.
- Bill Greenwood, Beano’s Cabin, Beaver Creek.
- Steve Redzikowski, OAK at Fourteenth, Boulder.
Each chef must offer six dishes in this, the first nose-to-tail competition. In addition to his or her name in culinary lights, the winner gets a four-day wine experience to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region, so it would seem prophetic for Jasinski to win, but all five chefs are at the top of their game, so it’s no slam dunk for her.
Also at Cochon 555
A highlight of the event is the presentation of butchering as a spectator sport. Jason Nauert of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat will butcher a pig for the audience in a pop-up butcher shop; Brian Busker and Toru Watanabe of Matsuhisa Vail will prepare an additional whole pig in a late-night Asian Speakeasy style before dessert and the awards ceremony.
- A welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon.
- The Bourbon Bar presented by Breadcrumb by Groupon featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo.
- Libations include Crispin Ciders, Wines of Rioja and Cochon Rose.
- Guests will also have the chance to pair a selection of Goose Island beers with the chef-prepared dishes and food courses offered throughout the evening.
- TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms and John Little of Harman’s Eat and Drink.
- An artisan cheese bar with Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery.
- Swine & Sweets signature ‘ice cream social’ desserts featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
Guests will indulge in a literal and figurative pig-out, what with 30 pork dishes to sample and all sorts of other food and beverages. Click here for tickets — $125 for general admission (5 p.m. entry to the event) and $200 VIP admission (4 p.m. entry and VIP extras).