Last year C and I discovered the Cochon555 tour. We made sure we marked our calendars for their 2017 stopover in Los Angeles. We beamed with excitement to see what the chefs had in store for this year as we walked into the Viceroy.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cochon555, it was created in 2008 to provide more education and awareness around heritage breed pigs. It consists of a nose-to-tail competition dedicated to supporting family farmers and educating culinary professionals about the agricultural importance of using Old World livestock. The tour spans 14-cities and to date has worked with over 2,200 chefs, 150+ family farms and 16 culinary schools to cultivate long term impact on family farming of heritage breed pigs.
The Piggy Bank Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, practices open access agriculture (OAA) to benefit small family farms. They provide farmers with the genetics needed to diversify bloodlines or to help rebuild herds as a result of disease or natural disasters. Visit http://www.piggy-bank.org to learn more about the cause or to donate.
This year’s competitors included the talented local chefs:
Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher lead the charge in a live butcher demonstration. The cuts of pork would later be auctioned off to event attendees.
Setup next to the butchers station were some packages up for auction as well as the winner’s haul, including a sweet trophy. Each of the auction packages available to patrons included a large butchers block, 30 lbs of pork and an alcohol selection from the participating sponsors. For $500 a piece, they were quite a steal.
The bartenders and alcohol vendors did not disappoint as usual. Two of my favorite heavy hitters in attendance were Courvoisier and Silver Oak winery. I made sure to get a tasting of each varietal at the Silver Oak table! For research purposes of course..
DRY Sparkling, one of the repeat spotlight sponsors, had several stations setup handing out bottles of their sparking soda as well as cocktail stations highlighting DRY as one of the key ingredients.
The Garden of Eaten being served in the pic below includes Buffalo Trace Bourbon, The perfect Puree Searmint & Lime, Fresh Mint, Cucumber DRY and Angostura Aromatic Bitters. A fun little punch to consider for my next cocktail party.
The real stars of the event, of course, were the masterfully created dishes! Plated with love and care, here are some of our favorites of the day.
Part of the fun of these events is always the celebrity sightings. I found myself sharing a laugh with Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes and having a in depth conversation about the best restaurants in LA with Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times. His take on the best food festival of the year is the LA Times Bite Night. Although, admittedly, he mentioned he’s biased as he’s curates the event. I’ll have to pay Mr. Gold another visit later this year.
There are quite a few cities left on the tour for 2017. Be sure to check an event out if you’ll be in any of the participating cities in the near future.
- Miami | March 26
- Boston | April 9
- San Francisco | June 4
- Atlanta | June 25
- Washington DC | August 6
- Austin | August 20
More details can be found on the Cochon555 website. I must say these are some of the most well produced food events. Well curated, well organized and most importantly a whole lot of fun. Cheers to another successful stop in LA!