Cochon555: A whole-hog feast to benefit heritage breed pigs

The Cochon555 Tour makes it way back to Denver on Sunday, June 24, at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. The multi-city pork-palooza is a series of hyper-local food events with an innovative nose-to-tail pig cooking competition to raise awareness for heritage breed pigs, many of which are endangered.

The whole-hog. Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

The large-scale pork feast visits 15 major cities in North America annually with 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms and culinary schools each year. This year’s chefs include Brother Luck of Four By Brother Luck, Adam Branz of Ultreia, Cindhura Reddy of Spuntino, Kyle Foster of Julep and Nate Singer of Blackbelly Butcher. The chefs must prepare bold dishes that utilizes the entire pig sourced from local, family farms. A crowd of a few hundred bacon-loving foodies and 20 notable judges will score each chef on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, overall flavor and the “best bite of the day.” The winning chef receives a four-day wine and gastronomy experience in one of Spain’s most prominent wine regions, Rioja.

Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Additionally, are two internal beverage competitions where Punch Kings features five of the city’s top barkeeps to face off in a whole-bottle punch bowl competition. Each bartender must make a large-format communal libation prepared with bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery. (video)

Bourbon punch bowls. Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Cochon555 also challenges five illustrious sommeliers in the third annual “Somm Smackdown” to find the best wine to pair with the dishes prepared by competing chefs. (video)

Perfect pairings. Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

The “Welcome Lounge” ushers in the festivities with an immediate incoming bite prepared by Adam Vero from Hearth & Dram, as well as a cocktail from Galliano. Their “Signature Starter Bar” and “Cheese Experience” highlights Cello, Yellow Door Creamery, La Quercia, Cypress Grove and Cured.

Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Tastings are available from Topo Chico, Stem Ciders, Woodford Reserve, Westland Distillery, Don Q Rum, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and Breckenridge PX Cask Finish topped with Luxardo cherries. Cocktails are courtesy of Courvoisier, Effen Vodka and El Tesoro Tequila.

Line ’em up, knock ’em down. Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Learn about pairings at the “TarTare Bar” prepared by Bill Miner from il Porcellino Salumi, and Joshua Pollack from Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen, with wines from Antica Napa Valley. A selection of rosés from Chateau D’Esclans are paired with organic pâtés and mousses from Les Trois Petits Cochons as well as an array of wines from Rioja. Guests can taste the full portfolio of Cooper & Thief Cellarmasters, Blanchard Family Wines, plus the “5 Winemakers” banner; Silver Oak, Pax Wine Cellars, Sandhi, Kosta Browne and Twomey Cellars.

Vino on parade. Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Those in search of sweet treats can find clever desserts by Christopher Mosera from Aikopops working with Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Photo credit: Cochon555/ Max Flatow Photography

Since 2009, 108,000+ consumers have chosen to partake in heritage pork for the first time with more than $1.1 million in charitable donations and over $1.2 million paid directly to our farmers. The event also benefits Piggy Bank, a non-profit organization with the mission to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms.

General admission for Cochon555 is from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for $130.00, and VIP access earns guests early entrance at 4:00 p.m. for $200.00, which includes two preview dishes, specialty cocktails and reserve wines. Check out the spotlight video, and find available tickets here.

*Header image courtesy of Cochon555/Max Flatow Photography