Cochon 555 anniversary tour comes to Vail
Ryan Summerlin February 12, 2013
The year 2013 marks a culinary milestone: The fifth anniversary of Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event created to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Arriving at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail on March 10, the pork-centric tour gathers together five chefs, five pigs and five wineries at each event, ultimately touching down in 10 cities across the country and bringing its message of nose-to-tail cooking, breed diversity and family farming to food enthusiasts nationwide.Each Cochon 555 event challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. Among the competing chefs will be: Jason Harrison (Four Seasons Vail), Alex Seidel (Fruition), Lon Symensma (ChoLon), Kelly Liken (Restaurant Liken) and Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly).Guests will be treated to an epic pork feast alongside wines from five small family-owned wineries, Crispin Ciders, and special tastings from celebrated food and beverage producers, including Kim Wiss of Antica Napa Valley, and a special pairing of Cypress Grove Chevre and Anchor Brewing. Twenty judges and 400 guests help decide the winning chef, who is crowned the Prince (or Princess) of Porc and will compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the Classic in Aspen on June 16.Also included in the evening is a preview of the new Heritage barbecue event in which Julian Hampton Smith Jr. of Bol Vail will roll out family meal – another whole pig cooked barbecue-style immediately preceding the awards. VIP guests will experience some of the new additions for 2013, including the launch of the cocktail competition called “Punch Kings” featuring Breckenridge Bourbon and six local bartenders, the all-new hand-cut Tartare Bar featuring Brian Busker of Matsuhisa Vail, sustainable oysters from Rappahannock River and reserve wines and spirits.To celebrate five years, Cochon 555 is announcing five bourbons in addition to five family wineries and five chefs cooking five pigs. All attendees will get samples of Templeton Rye, Breckenridge Bourbon, High West, Buffalo Trace and Four Roses, in addition to the Perfect Manhattan Bar showcasing Hudson Whiskey, Eagle Rare, Luxardo and Camparo Antica. New to 2013 is also the Chupito Bar, a mezcal tasting experience featuring Ilegal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Fidencio, cucumbers and smoked sea salts. The infamous Craft Cheese Bar sees a facelift featuring a local cheesemonger, Cypress Grove Chevre, Vermont Butter & Cheese, the exclusive blues tasting from Rogue Creamery, and favorites from Kerrygold. Everyone can commemorate the experience by visiting the City Eats photo booth and voting for the best bite of the day. Crispin Cider will be served as the Official Cider of the U.S. tour.The fun continues when Miyabi and Zwilling USA present a butcher demonstration with Bill Greenwood from Beano’s Cabin, and a raffle to benefit the student volunteers from Johnson & Wales. Full access includes ice-cold brews, Champagne toast, award ceremony, Fernet Branca digestifs, pork-spiked desserts, cold-brewed coffee and, of course, everyone is invited to the after-party with drink specials at Flame immediately following.