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Cochon 555 Returning to Denver in March

This epic pork feast will take place on Sunday, March 6

Cochon 555 Trophy

Now in its eighth year, Cochon 555, the annual traveling swine orgy, will be back in Denver with an even bigger event and a new charitable cause. What began as a way to raise awareness about heritage pigs has turned into a nationwide culinary extravaganza. The event and chef competition will hit 10 cities between January 24 and April 24, wherein five local chefs will prepare up to six pork-a-licious dishes with hopes of winning votes from guests and judges alike. The winner in each city will go on to compete for the title of “King or Queen of Porc” at the tour’s grand finale in Aspen on June 18. In addition to a year of bragging rights, the grand champion will be rewarded with a trip to Rioja, Spain.

The weekend swine takeover in Denver begins with two dinners prepared by local and visiting chefs on Friday, March 6 at The Nickel and Saturday, March 5 at Colt and Gray. The big event begins at 4pm (VIP) and 5pm (GA) on Sunday, March 6 at The Ritz Carlton {1881 Curtis Street, Denver}. Chef Matt Vawter of Mercantile Dining and Provisions will defend his Prince of Porc title against Chef Kelly Whitaker (Basta and Cart Driver), Chef Chris Thompson (The Nickel), Chef John Little (Harman’s Eat and Drink), and Chef Rich Byers (Corner Office). Each chef will be paired with a local heritage hog and will be challenged to utilize the whole beast from nose-to-tail in up to six dishes. Last year’s culinary showdown highlights included a pork belly corn dog, pig offal posole, pig heart tartare báhn mì, and bacon-butterscotch pudding.

Cochon 555

In addition to the 2,000 pounds of pig, guests will enjoy strategically planned “pop-up” culinary experiences like the Artisan Cheese Bar from Cured, the infamous TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms and Chefs Justin Brunson and Nathan Stambaugh. Kate Cavanaugh and Josh Curtiss of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe will be back for a live butchering demonstration. Humboldt: Farm, Fish, Wine will take over the “Rappahannock Oyster Shelf,” and the “Perfect Manhattan Experience” will feature Breckenridge Bourbon again this year.

Cochon 555 Pig

A portion of the proceeds for all events will benefit Piggy Bank, a new nonprofit created by Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe to create a sanctuary for heritage breed pigs that will be gifted to new farmers and culinary schools, assist new family farms with herd development, and help existing farms challenged by disaster.

“This will be the most incredible year ever as we have one goal: to change the future of our food. It feels like a serendipitous crossroads of culinary passions, from the creation of our 20-city US Tour dedicated to family farming, to launching a foundation called Piggy Bank. The Cochon 555 Tour is now a movement …reaching a global audience with the first open-source agricultural model dedicated to helping farmers succeed. This doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, and for the first time in human history, a culinary tour has emerged to save endangered species on a global scale. Every single bite and sip that guests enjoy at our events will benefit the good food movement and help correct our failing food system. After eight years, this promises to be the best tasting tour yet, and we can’t wait to hit the road again.” – Founder Brady Lowe

This event always sells out, so if you want your fill of porcine fun this spring, get your tickets early. For details on dinners and tickets, visit their website.

By Elizabeth Woessner | Online Editor