"Go pig! Or go home!" That is the gauntlet that has been thrown, and the challenge, the question, the machismo duel that will pit 23 of Houston's most prominent chefs in a challenge to create Houston's most supreme incarnation of a suckling pig.
The second annual event is scheduled for Sunday, April 14, hosted by founding chef Manabu Horiuchi and his team at Kata Robata, and plans to be one of the biggest -- if not the biggest -- throwdown events Houston has ever seen.
And if history tells the story, it's going to be nothing short of epic.
Last year's event (see our coverage of the First Annual Suckling Pig Throwdown in 2012) saw everything from whole roasted suckling pig, suckling pig barbecued ribs and Korean-inspired barbecue pork with rice to suckling pig pâté, suckling pig porchetta and pretzel-baked suckling pig-shaped Wellington. Whole pig heads and whole pigs were used for decoration at many of the tables. It was easy to get overloaded on all things pig, from the jokes and the food to the sheer competitive energy of the chefs in the competition.
This year, the throwdown roster has literally doubled in size. Chef Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse, who won the People's Choice golden pig trophy last year, will be returning to defend his title. Ryan Pera of Revival Market, who won the judge's prize last year, will return as a judge.
Other competitors include a who's who of Houston's chefs: Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Justin Yu of Oxheart, Kaz Edwards of Uchi, Erin Smith of Blacksmith, Jonathan Jones of Monarch, Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti, Seth Siegel-Gardner of The Pass & Provisions, Terrence Gallivan of The Pass & Provisions, Michael Pellegrino of Max's Wine Dive, Randy Evans of Haven, Jean-Philippe Gaston of Cove, Chris Leung of Cloud 10 Creamery, Mike Potowski of Benjy's, David Cordua of Cordua Restauarnt Group, Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar & Cookshop, Ryan Savoie of Saint Arnold's Brewery, Willie Lai of Dynasty Chinese Barbecue, Matthew Mui of Muiishi Makirritos Food Truck, Matt Marcus of Eatsie Boys, Matt Opaleski of H-town Streats, Mark Gabriel Medina of Soma and, of course, host chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata.
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The cost of $75 per person includes food, beer, friends, and cocktails mixed by Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge. Proceeds will benefit Organized Kollaboration of Restaurant Affairs, or the OKRA charity.
For tickets, visit: http://gopigorgohome2013.eventbrite.com/. This event will definitely sell out, so get yours while you still can. And may the best pig win!