I didn’t attend Cochon 555 but I received this and thought it was worthy of passing along. Congrats to a great Chef and also a great dude on the win, Jose Mendin.
COCHON 555 CROWNS CHEF JOSE MENDIN OF THE PUBBELLY GROUP MIAMI’S PRINCE OF PORC IN 6TH ANNUAL EPIC PORK FESTIVAL
Culinary Competition Promoting Family Farms Announces Miami Winner
NEW YORK (Feb. 10, 2014) — Cochon US Tour announces the Miami winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition. Chef Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group was crowned the Prince of Porc on Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. Going on its sixth year, Cochon 555 presented by Goose Island Beer Co., is the nation’s premier culinary tour touting the benefits of eating heritage breed pigs. The kickoff event featured an all-star lineup of chefs, judges and sponsors to celebrate breed diversity and family farming.
This year’s competing chefs included Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Dena Marino of MC Kitchen and Host Chef Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar. They battled it out by preparing show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from snout to tail for a crowd of pork-loving gourmands. The swine laden menu included Arepas of Head Cheese, Pig Sushi Nigiri, Neapolitan Terrine, Mofongo with Chicharron Powder, Gnocchi with Pork Ragu, Swine Infused Carrot Cake, and Pig’s Blood Chocolate Bars.
A pack of notable judges, including Nina Compton of Scarpeta, and Darren Brass and Jose Santiago of Miami Ink, had the arduous task of selecting the ultimate winner to be crowned Prince of Porc. Chef Mendin will go on to compete against the other 9 cities’ winners in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June. The winner will be deemed the “King or Queen of Porc” and will win a four-day wine excursion to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
“Returning to Miami is always an honor especially with the esteemed group of champion chefs, judges, friends and partners,” said Cochon founder Brady Lowe. “Coming back to Miami for a sold out event at the Four Seasons is always a huge honor for us all. The competition though friendly yielded many tasty and wonderful bites. While Jose walked away with the win, the real winners of the event are the family farms raising heritage breed pigs.”
The tour’s official cocktail competition, Punch Kings, featured Breckenridge Bourbon in bowls of boozy punch created by Miami barkeeps. This year’s winner, Joshua Holliday of Khong River House, created an amazing cocktail and took home a $1,000 bottle of Breckenridge Reserve.
In addition to the 30 chef-prepared dishes, guests experienced Goose Island’s vintage ales, a TarTare Bar featuring Timon Balloo, an amazing display of sweets from Antonio Bachour of the St. Regis, an ice cream social with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, miniature mason jars filled with Manhattan cocktails, endless amounts of Prosciutto di Parma perfectly sliced on a roaming Berkel, and entered to win a trip to New York City courtesy of Rioja wines. The crowd ended the night in true Asian Speakeasy with a 6th heritage breed pig prepared by Jason Pringle of db Bistro Moderne Miami and a lively after party at Edge Steak & Bar.
About Cochon 555
Cochon 555 was created in 2009 by Taste Network’s Brady Lowe in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds. The festival is a national event series that takes place in 17 major markets. In addition to its flagship event, Cochon 555, the Cochon brand now offers a variety of experiences each year in the family of events. The events with national followings include Heritage BBQ, Heritage Fire, EPIC Cochon, All-Star Cochon and Cochon Island. Since its launch in 2009, Cochon 555 and its programs, such as Chef’s Course, have supported responsible family farming across the country by allowing 50,000 people to taste heritage pigs and by donating more than $300,000 to charities and more than $500,000 directly to great farmers across the country.
All picture courtesy of Galdones Photography/Cochon 555