Cochon 555 Coming to Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell

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Cochon 555, the traveling wine and pig competition, is on its fourth U.S. tour. On Monday, its leaders announced it will be making a stop in Miami.

The event will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell on April 1st and features some of Miami's top chefs, including Michelle Bernstein of Michy's, Aaron Brooks of Edge Steak and Bar, Michael Schwartz and Bradley Herron of Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, as well as chefs James Petrakis of Ravenous Pig in Winter Park and James Strine of Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach.

Created by Brady Lowe of the Taste Network in Atlanta, Cochon 555 has a mission  to promote sustainable farming of heritage pig breeds. At the competition, guests will be treated to nose-to-tail feast of samplings of five different whole pigs prepared by five chefs.

What exactly is a heritage breed pig? It's produces a darker, meatier, more tender and more marbled--and typically fattier--type of meat that is not usually found in supermarkets.

"Think of it like a heirloom tomato," says Lori Lefevre on behalf of Cochon 555. "These are breeds that roots in the U.S. but have fallen out of favor in many ways."

Guests will also get to try wines from wineries such as Elk Cove Vineyards, Scholium Project, Sokol Blosser, Chehalem Wines and K Vinters.

Virtually every part of the pig can be consumed. "The pig is so versatile from the nose to the tail," says chef Aaron Brooks, "you can do so much with it. You're going to see variety, we're going to cook a bunch of samples."

"If you're going to do a whole pig, you roast over some coals," says Brooks.

The annual tour kicks off in New York City and ends in San Francisco, with eight stops in between. This year Miami and Memphis were added.

Guests and judges will select the winner, aptly named the Prince or Princess of Porc, who will go on to compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, in June.

Other events of the evening will include a butcher demonstration, pork samplings, and there will be samples of Anchor Brew, Chicano Tequila and several other American spirits . It will all be followed by a heritage barbecue whole hog family meal served by Jeff McInnis of Yardbird, then dessert samples of chocolates by Xocolatl de David.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person, and $200 for VIP tickets that include an extra hour of sample dishes, cheeses and cocktails.

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