Now that the hangovers have finally abated, we can get down to the business of dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on Cochon 555's March 10 event in Vail. Porkophiles descended upon the Four Seasons for a night of artery-clogging, liver-bashing debauchery, and we were behind-the-scenes as one of 20 judges tasked with tasting upwards of 30 different dishes.
This is the fifth anniversary for Cochon, the brainchild of the Taste Network's Brady Lowe. He's on a mission to promote awareness about sustainable farming practices and heritage livestock breeds.
Vail is one of the stops on the 10-city Cochon tour. This year, competing Colorado chefs included reigning Price of Pork Alex Seidel (Fruition, Denver), Kelly Liken (Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail) Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly Catering, Boulder), Jason Harrison (Flame, Four Seasons Vail), and Lon Symensma (ChoLon, Denver). They duked it out for the title of Prince or Princess of Pork; the winner will take on the winners of the other nines cities at the Grand Cochon, held at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, on June 16.
Among the dishes sampled were a delectable Pork Belly Ramen with bacon dashi and quail egg, and a Slow-Cooked, Fennel-Marinated Porchetta Sandwich with spicy giardiniera, roasted fennel, and garlic aioli on grilled ciabatta. Desserts included a backfat brownie with malted bacon-habanero ice cream, bacon peanut brittle, and Leopold Bros. Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur.
Harrison scored the crown in Vail, and Aspen is coming up on June 16th.