Cochon555, the roving culinary competition that supports sustainable foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs, heads to Houston on May 21. The event brings together five chefs cooking five whole heritage breed hogs amidst wine selections from five winemakers, and it's known to be a very tasty, very good time. If you're wondering who the five competing chefs are this year, wonder no more. Competing against each other at Cochon555 will be:
- Luis Roger of BCN Taste & Tradition
- Bobby Matos of State of Grace
- Felix Florez of Ritual
- Manabu "Hori" Horiuchi of Kata Robata
- Monica Pope of Sparrow Cookshop
Each chef receives a 200-pound hog from a local farmer the week before the event and is asked to create six dishes, which will then be judged on use of the whole hog, cooking technique, flavor and then some. The winner from each city then moves on to compete against chefs from 15 other cities at Grand Cochon in October.
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Along with these chef's 30 pork dishes, guests can partake in beef tartare paired with Antica Napa Valley wines, a farmhouse cheese spread, breads from La Brea Bakery, a Reserve Salami snack bar from Creminelli and Divin, ramen served with Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars pairings, organic pâté from Les Trois Petits Cochons, a fancy butter bar from Sabatino, and pastries presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.
This year's event also features numerous booze options including punch from Buffalo Trace and DRY Sparkling, and two drink situations that sound like the titles of rejected movie scripts concerning nuclear war — Glenfiddich's "Experimental Dome" and "The Manhattan Project" from Poached Job. Breckinridge Bourbon will bust out smoked Old Fashioneds, and Angostura Rum will offer a tiki bar. More rum offerings include a Bayou Rum tasting and a Heritage Rum Cart. Angostura will also unveil a new Swizzle Bar.
If you make it out alive from the libation stations, the five winemakers featured this year are Kosta Browne, CIRQ, Silver Oak Cellars, Scholium Project and Pax Wine Cellars, but there will also be more vino available at tables run by Wines of the World and Azzurro Wine Company, along with plenty of selections of cider and beer.
With all that in mind, general admission doesn't seen too shabby for $125. VIP tickets are $200, and 12 coveted BESPOKE tickets are available at $400. Purchase them all online or find out more information at cochon555.com. The event lands at Hughes Manor, 2811 Washington on May 21, at 4 p.m.