MORE

Cochon 555 Miami at Four Seasons Hotel: A Pignificant Way to Celebrate Pork

Leftover's...the skull of the winning pig, a Hereford from Palmetto Creek Farms.
Leftover's...the skull of the winning pig, a Hereford from Palmetto Creek Farms.
Lesley Elliott

We didn't know what to expect from Cochon 555 -- a national, pig-centric culinary event that made its way to Miami for the first time this past weekend at the Four Seasons. We knew that five chefs would be playing with pig parts from five heritage breed animals, but we had no idea how long they had been working on the project. There were components that had been aging or pickling for a month and menus that had been in the works for much longer than that.

These chefs delivered complex, well-thought-out variations on pork everything in what turned out to be a serious competition among some of Florida's top toques: Michelle Bernstein (Michy's, Sra. Martinez, Crumb on Parchment), Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Harry's Pizzeria), Aaron Brooks (Edge Steak & Bar), James Petrakis (Ravenous Pig), and James Strine (Cafe Boulud). Each chef received a different piggie, ranging from Hereford to Berkshire. The focus was on farmers -- Cochon 555 hopes to promote awareness of the need for a more "natural, sustainable food system."

The judges' scorecards (all 20) included utilization (how did they use the pig?), presentation (how did they dress up the pig?) and flavor (how did the pig taste?). It seemed that all pig parts were present and accounted for, from chicharrones to chorizo-wrapped lomo to braised belly.

Expert butchery met culinary creativity, and what was the outcome? The populace claimed 51 percent of the vote, and the winner is...


Michelle Bernstein, whose "PB & J" was slathered with whipped lard "jelly" and liver pâté. She also served up a nose-to-tail croqueta with a filling of snout, shoulder, rib, belly, butt, feet, and skin.

Michelle Bernstein's pork-stock custard with consomme, porchetta raviolil, grilled pig heart, and "hopped up" sundae with bacon and fatback caramel.
Michelle Bernstein's pork-stock custard with consomme, porchetta raviolil, grilled pig heart, and "hopped up" sundae with bacon and fatback caramel.
Lesley Elliott
James Strine, from Café Boulud in Palm Beach, worked with a Large Black from Black Hill Ranch.
James Strine, from Café Boulud in Palm Beach, worked with a Large Black from Black Hill Ranch.
Lesley Elliott
Strine's petite choucroute included knackwurst and belly, a Vietnamese consomme with shrimp and pork meatballs and shaved flank, milk-braised shoulder, and herbed lardo-wrapped white asparagus.
Strine's petite choucroute included knackwurst and belly, a Vietnamese consomme with shrimp and pork meatballs and shaved flank, milk-braised shoulder, and herbed lardo-wrapped white asparagus.
Lesley Elliott

 

Aaron Brooks from Edge Steak & Bar used the whole head for tortellini; made a cubano with maple-cured ham, barbecued roast pork butt, and moonshine mayo; as well as a pork belly anticucho; chorizo-wrapped lomo; and smocked ham-hock ice cream.
Aaron Brooks from Edge Steak & Bar used the whole head for tortellini; made a cubano with maple-cured ham, barbecued roast pork butt, and moonshine mayo; as well as a pork belly anticucho; chorizo-wrapped lomo; and smocked ham-hock ice cream.
Lesley Elliott
James Petrakis from the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park presented an array of elevated classics -- a corn dog with fermented hot-sauce gastrique, liverwurst, head boudin, smoked country ham and cured egg yolks, and bacon-fat biscotti.
James Petrakis from the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park presented an array of elevated classics -- a corn dog with fermented hot-sauce gastrique, liverwurst, head boudin, smoked country ham and cured egg yolks, and bacon-fat biscotti.
Lesley Elliott
Michael Schwartz's chicharrones, sorta like a B-movie blob, threatened to take over his table.
Michael Schwartz's chicharrones, sorta like a B-movie blob, threatened to take over his table.
Lesley Elliott
Michael Schwartz's offerings included a porchetta di testa, whipped lardo, chili-braised ribs with kimchee, blood and chocolate panna cotta, scrapple with a fried quail egg, and bacon maple pecan pie.
Michael Schwartz's offerings included a porchetta di testa, whipped lardo, chili-braised ribs with kimchee, blood and chocolate panna cotta, scrapple with a fried quail egg, and bacon maple pecan pie.
Lesley Elliott
Pig tattooing? He doesn't seem to have much choice in the matter.
Pig tattooing? He doesn't seem to have much choice in the matter.
Lesley Elliott

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

Use Current Location

Related Location

miles
Four Seasons Hotel Miami

1435 Brickell Ave.
Miami, FL 33131

866-215-6641

www.fourseasons.commiami


Sponsor Content