*Note: Tickets to Cochon 555 Boston 2017 were sponsored. All opinions are my own.
Pork lovers, rejoice! I was able to snag VIP passes to Cochon 555 Boston 2017, and it was like the Disneyland of pork! For those unaware, Cochon 555 goes to cities across the U.S., challenging the top chefs of each city to create 6 dishes from a ~500 lb pig, with just one chef / restaurant declared the winner in the end – how fun (and scrumptious) is that!
Cochon 555 Boston 2017
Cochon 555 is put on to raise money and awareness for the good food movement and reminding chefs and locals of the importance of sourcing from heritage breed pigs. I didn’t know about these myself before the event, and I’ve learned so much! They’re healthier to eat, since they are raised without antibiotics or steroids and require less fat / oils to cook with due to their marbling. Heritage pigs also have a more robust flavor due to their diverse genetic makeup (aka they’re not inbred)! Chefs need to utilize these more so that farmers can afford to raise them.
Read on to see how the chefs found inspiration to cook their heritage pork, the top chefs I had the pleasure of meeting, and the dishes we chowed down on!
This is a picture of me putting ALL of my concentration on NOT dropping Chef Joshua Levin’s barbacoa nachos! In all seriousness, he was so humble and easy to chat with, and his team from Juliet made amazing dishes at this event! I loved how he let his team run with recipes from each of their cultures, which ties into how food can bridge modern culture gaps (aka who doesn’t love Mexican food / can we maybe NOT put a wall up and keep it all out)!
Meeting the super nice Chef Marc Sheehan of Loyal Nine. I really appreciated how he was inspired by the specific pig he received – on noticing that it had a more wet quality, he decided to pair the pork belly with clams. Of course it went together perfectly (see the dish below).
Chef Meghan Ward is the sweetest! She hugged me twice and I felt like I was a part of the Tapestry family. They got really creative which was so enjoyable – see below their green eggs and ham dish, as well as their gourmet oreos (can you believe it’s got pork in it)?
Glenfiddich had this cool igloo tent set up, so of course we snooped inside. I’m not really a whiskey girl, but it was still fun to try their newest spirits.
Chef Daniel Bojorquez from La Brasa found inspiration for his dishes the fun way – by having a bunch of his friends come over (how do I get into that inner circle??), trying a ton of different dishes, and seeing what everyone loves. We shared the love of these sliders, mole, and tacos.
I was brave and tried the pork tartare (which is raw) – so delicious!
These dishes were from the team at Townsman – seriously scrumptious!
I’ll never divulge who we voted for, but Townsman won the Boston round. They will go on to compete in Grand Cochon 2017 in Chicago, along with 17 other winning chefs from 17 cities. I can’t wait to follow along and see who wins!
Comment Challenge: What’s your favorite way to eat pork?