Presented by Cochon555 US Tour
Five renowned Austin chefs battled it out in a friendly competition for a cause at Cochon555 last weekend, celebrating heritage breed pigs and the family farms dedicated to their sustainable upbringing.
The competing chefs and their teams worked tirelessly to prepare 30-plus dishes for the judges and the room full of more than 500 guests cheering them on.
This year’s competing chefs included James Flowers of Ciclo, Brian Moses of Olive & June, Jo Chan of Eberly, Geronimo Lopez of BOTIKA, and Gabe Erales of Comedor.
Chef Erales and his stellar team presented an inspired winning menu. It included Pork Fat Aged Mushrooms, Chintestle Glazed Pork, Cecina, Pig Liver Mousse & Churros, Pig Bone Panna Cotta and Yucatan Taco of Castacan.
The winning plate showcased one whole pig: a Berkshire/Red Wattle Cross raised by Peaceful Pork.
The event also featured five of the city's hottest barkeeps and Punch King's chosen spirit: the spotlight ingredient was El Tesoro™ Blanco Tequila, steeped with tradition.
Madeline Ridgway’s winning "Weekend in West Texas” punch combined El Tesoro™ Blanco Tequila, brisket washed mezcal, cantaloupe-pickle shrub, lime juice, simple syrup, Dos Equis and two dashes of fire water bitters.
Cochon555 also celebrated wine. Five notable sommeliers competed in the Somm Smackdown. Each selected their favorite wine to pair with dishes presented by the five competing chefs. Vilma Mazaite of Domaine Select took the trophy with her selection, Quattro Mani, NV Lambrusco of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
Overall, Cochon555 and their partners helped raise $4,000 for Piggy Bank, a charitable foundation and start-up farm in Missouri that serves as a kickstarter for emerging family farms, as well as a safety net for farms in the wake of a disaster (flood, fire and disease).
“The national competition gets more intense and dynamic every year, and the performance of chefs, sommeliers, and barkeeps in Austin shows precisely why the city is synonymous with landscaping a responsible culinary excellence in this country," Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe said of the event. "We can’t wait to have Austin’s finest in Chicago this September for Grand Cochon, where we will crown the King or Queen of Pork."
If you love chef competitions, must-do culinary experiences, endless wines and spirits, making charitable donations and noshing on 30-plus chef-crafted dishes, don’t miss when this tour comes to your city.
Up next are NYC on 4/14 and Minneapolis on 5/5. Buy tickets to the nation’s most talked about culinary event and follow @Cochon555 on Instagram to keep up with all of the excitement happening across the country.