At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition to promote family farming. Five chefs are each given one whole, heritage breed pig and one week to prepare the entire animal (of 200 pounds). Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization, cooking techniques, and overall flavor. The winner will then be crowned Houston’s “Prince or Princess of Pork.” Running in tandem with the chef's event are the Somm Smackdown (the best pig/wine match) and Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Distillery (barkeeps battling in whole-bottle competition). The winners compete in the year-end finale, Grand Cochon, to be held this year on October 1.
Cochon555 is stopping in Houston as part of its 14-city national tour in support of family farmers raising heritage breed pigs, with this year’s event held at Hughes Manor, 2811 Washington, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. The centerpiece of the event is a competition in which five chefs are each given one whole, heritage breed pig and one week to prepare a six-dish menu from the 200-plus-pound animal for 450-plus guests. This year’s five competing chefs are Luis Roger of BCN Taste & Tradition, Bobby Matos of State of Grace, Felix Florez of Ritual, Manabu 'Hori' Horiuchi of Kata Robata and Monica Pope of Sparrow Cookshop. Other features include innovative spirit, wine and cocktail experiences, a pop-up bread experience featuring La Brea Bakery; a reserve salami snack bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the elegant wines of Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petits Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, and foie gras; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Tickets for general admission start at $125, with VIP tickets (early admission, plus exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) offered for $200.