Posted by Tori West
January 21, 2016 • events
"5 Pigs, 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers and a 10 City National Tour"
This culinary tour is not for the faint of heart. It is for the pork appreciators, the seekers of the perfect bite, the discerning epicureans. Calling all Apron Squad Members- this one's for you. Cochon 555 demonstrates the pleasure of heritage pigs thoughtfully prepared by chefs and masterfully paired with wine. We're so in.
But, why heritage pigs? In contrast to commodity pork, heritage pigs are known to have a richer, deeper flavor. Think pink-hued and heavily marbled. But breeding such pigs comes with a high price, and often competes head-on with the factory farm model. Commodity pork is by and large the result of the U.S. marketing pork as "the other white meat" and breeding pigs to decrease fat content. This has also resulted in the skimping of favorable living conditions for the pigs in exchange for the more economical confined animal feeding, and relying on antibiotics and growth hormones. Factory farming has led to disastrous effects for family farms, the environment, our health and most important to this conversation- FLAVOR.
Enter Cochon 555.
Cochon 555 is literally farm to table. Farmers, Chefs, and Consumer unite under one roof to feast.
The competition breaks down as follows: each chef has 7-10 days to cook and prepare a heritage pig and craft 6 dishes for 28 judges (and over 450 guests) to sample. The winning chef of each local competition is titled the "Prince(ess) of Pork" and then moves on to the final competition, the Grand Cochon, for an opportunity to become the King or Queen of Pork.
Arguably, the best part of the tour is the cause. Cochon 555 not only spreads awareness regarding the benefits of heritage pigs, but also funds Piggy Bank , an open-source agriculture movement supporting family farms.
So, where does Hedley & Bennett come in? As you may have guessed, we are staunch supporters of all things heritage (pigs being just one of them). As a small apron company that focuses on quality material and making things the old-fashioned way, we empathize with heritage pig farmers. Making things correctly is often not the cheapest and scalable, but it often results in the best product.
We jumped at the opportunity to sponsor Cochon 555. Each main chef at the 18 events will sport a Hedley & Bennett apron (handmade in Los Angeles). We will also be at the merchant tent to educate chefs of all types on the craftsmanship and quality material inherent in Hedley & Bennett chef gear.
With 10 cities and 50+ heritage pigs, Cochon 555 is as accessible as it is tasty. Check out the tour dates to see if one is close to you. We'll definitely be there, and hope to run into you at that blessed Cochon 555 Bourbon bar!
Photos from the Lovely Galdones Photography / Cochon 555.