If you watch Iron Chef, Knife Fight, or Top Chef, you may have noticed that chefs love competition. Cochon 555 tours the country setting up pork competitions to promote awareness of heritage breed pigs. On March 13, Cochon 555 will arrive at the Viceroy in Santa Monica to crown one of our own local chefs “Prince or Princess of Porc.” The nationwide event culminates with the winners from the 18 participating cities going head to head for the prized title of “King or Queen of Porc.” The competition also benefits Piggy Bank, a charity dedicated to creating an open-source solution for family farmers.
Repping LA this year are Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe, Brooke Williamson of The Tripel, Bruce Kalman of Union (watch out for that Porschetta!) and returning champion Walter Manzke of Republique. The chefs will prepare “a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog.” The winner will be chosen by votes from the guests and a panel of respected judges. Adjunct competitions include the popular “Punch Kings” local barkeep competition featuring Breckenridge Distillery, and a spotlight Sommelier Smackdown.
In addition to the competing dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs, guests will enjoy delicious cures from Creminelli Fine Meats, the TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms, an Artisan Cheese Bar featuring Cypress Grove Chevre, Coach Farm, Parrano and DTLA Cheese, plus a seafood shelf and the New Ramen Bar, followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop. If you want to take some of the porcine goodness home with you, delicious heritage breed pork will be sold at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, a retail experience raising money for Piggy Bank.
Boutique wines and cocktails will be poured, including “The Welcome Punch” reception featuring Buffalo Trace, DRY Sparkling and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Enjoy wine tastings with the “Five Winemakers” including sought-after wines from Paul Draper (Ridge Wines), Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Abe Schoener (Scholium Project), Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni Vineyards), Pax Mahle (Pax Wine Cellars) and special guest Matt Courtney of Arista Winery.
“The Perfect Margarita Experience” includes a tasting of luxury tequilas from Don Julio. The Heritage Rum Cart will travel through the crowd offering Rhum Clément and Plantation Rum. The “TIKI BAR” features The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, while the “Chupito” Mezcal Experience returns with Don Amado, Fidencio, Koch el Mezcal, Mezcal Derrumbes and more! Bourbon lovers will love the “Perfect Manhattan” featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace finished with Luxardo cherries.
Cochon 555 takes place Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 05:00 PM at the Viceroy Santa Monica Tickets are $130.95. Buy them here. The event is casual, and there is a free afterparty. So let’s all get drunk and greasy!