4th Annual Cochon 555, Mandarin Oriental, Back Bay, Boston

Do you love pork? Do you love bacon? How about pork chops, pork tenderloin, ham, prosciutto, or pork sausage? Does the thought of eating anything related to delectable porcine-goodness make your heart go aflutter?

Then Cochon555 is the pork event for you. This coming Sunday is a pork fest that focuses on bringing swine and wine together! Cochon555- five chefs, five pigs, five winemakers- is a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting even to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. The Boston event will be presented by Inifiti and Boston Magazine. The competition challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu created from heritage breed pigs, nose-to-tail, for an audience of pork-loving epicureans.

This competition  was created by Taste Network’s Brady Lowe in 2009 in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage pig breeds. Cochon is a national event series that takes in 14 major US markets. Every January, Cochon555 embarks on a 10-city culinary competition and tasting tour where 50 chefs are selected to prepare a snout-to-tail menu. The 10 winners of each event are flown to Aspen for the Food & Wine Classic for the final competition, Grand Cochon.

2012 Boston competing chefs include Jamie Bissonette of Coppa and Toro (BMH reviews of Coppa, and brunch and dinner visits to Toro), Tim Cushman of O Ya (BMH review of O Ya), Barbara Lynch of Menton (BMH review of No. 9, Drink and Sportello) , Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother, and Steve “Nookie” Postal of Fenway Park. With an amazing Boston chef line up like that, why would you ever want to miss it?

Guests will be treated to an epic pork feast of five whole heritage pigs prepared by five chefs and wines from five family wineries, including Buty Winery, Elk Cove Vineyards, Syncline Wines, Sokol Blosser, Chehalem Wines, and K Vinters. The evening will also include wines by SALDO, and interactive tasting contest with Matt Jennings of Farmstead & La Laiterie (a 3 time Cochon Boston winner and BMH’s review of La Laterie) and Le Creuset, Anchor Brew, tastings of Chinaco Tequila and the “Perfect Manhattan” Cochon555 Bar with Daniel Hyatt of Alembic featuring five craft American spirits, and Domaine Serene of Oregon paired with Iberico De Bellota by Fermin. Joshua Smith from Tico will host a Heritage BBQ whole hog family meal after the completion of the voting. The night will conclude with a special 25th anniversary champagne toast to the James Beard Foundation, sponsered by Laurent-Perrier Champagne, and dessert samples of exclusive chocolate bar flavors from Xocolatl de David, paired with cold-brew Safari Cup coffee.

At the end of the night, attendees and local judges will select the Prince or Princess of Boston Porc. The winning chef will go on to compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon even at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on June 17, 2012.

Cochon555 will be held:
When: This Sunday, March 25th, 4pm VIP opening, 5pm general admission
Where: Mandarin Oriental Boston, 776 Boylston St, Boston MA

Tickets: $125 per person for general admission, $200 for VIP (which includes one hour early access to sample dishes from three of the competing chef stations, welcome cocktails from The King’s Ginger, artisan cheese from Formaggio Kitchen and Murray’s Cheese, and Island Creek Oysters.  Buy your tickets HERE.

If you can’t attend, you can still support heritage breed pigs. New to Boston, Cochon555 is offering a Chef’s Course which rewards diners in 2012 for supporting heritage agriculture and local food producers.  It’s simple, dine at Coppa, ToroFarmstead & La Laiterie or Harvest Restaurant, mention you have the card and spend at least $50 while there. Then before your meal is over, the chef will send out something special for every member of your party, an amuse bouche, a half-sized appetizer or a 2-3 bite-sized tasting portion created to complement your meal and dietary preferences. This one-of-a-kind dining experience can be yours every time you choose to dine at any of the four participating restaurants. As a member, you will also receive exclusive offers from Cochon wineries and discounts with their national partners, including Le Creuset, Murray’s Cheese, and many more to be announced.

We hope to see you there as BMH will be covering this wonderful porktastic event as VIP press.

Disclaimer: BMH will be receiving complimentary entrance to the event. Images used are from the Cochon555 website.

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