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Cochon 555 Is Back: Brooks, McInnis, Balloo, Thomas, Zapata to Compete

Pork lovers, rejoice! Cochon 555, a porktastic event, is coming to town.

The ten-city culinary competition and tasting tour was created to promote the sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs -- so that we may eat them better, my dear. Five local chefs compete in each city, preparing a menu using a whole hog.

This year, Aaron Brooks (Four Seasons), Jeff McInnis (Yardbird), David Thomas (The Bazaar), Timon Balloo (Sugarcane), and Cesar Zapata (the Federal) will compete for boss hog this Sunday, April 21, at the Four Seasons Miami. Each chef will get his own pig to produce the best oinker-to-corkscrew menu.

As if such a porkstravaganza weren't enticing enough, there are several other tantalizing treats in store for 305 foodies.

Wines from five family-owned wineries will be on hand, including Elk Cove Vineyards, Bethel Heights, Hamacher, Montinore, and Alloro, plus special tastings of Vibrant Rioja and Illegal Mezcal. If wine isn't your poison, Anchor Brewing, Eminent Domain, and Crispin Ciders will be on hand as well.

Cochon 555 is introducing its new Heritage BBQ Event, featuring a "family meal" consisting of an additional whole pig, prepared by Conor Hanlon of the Dutch and rolled out after the awards.

Attendees can also experience a bourbon tasting, a butcher demonstration, a tartare bar, Rappahannock River oysters, and a craft cheese bar.

The "Prince of Pork" will be determined by 20 judges and 400 guests and then go on to compete against regional princes at the final Grand Cochon event at Food & Wine Classic in Aspen June 16.

General admission tickets cost $125, and VIP tickets cost $200 and include early admission, a cocktail competition, and a special tasting. Visit cochon555.com

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