Cochon555 announced the 2016 chef lineup for the annual event promoting heritage breed pigs and diverse food cultures. Returning to Chicago for the 3rd annual Heritage BBQ, the festivities take place at Loews Chicago Hotel—the official host for the weekend on September 11. Heritage BBQ is a culinary competition featuring five chefs cooking whole, heritage breed pigs with global flavors and cooking techniques.
“We’re incredibly excited to return to Chicago for Heritage BBQ and pay tribute to global cultures by consuming local food the way barbecue was intended to be,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “This event returns the barbecue conversation to the original context of local meats, cooked with native spices, over fires, and shared with a community. It’s only a matter of time until people demand better food choices when standing at the counter. We are standing right there with them, promoting honest food and a choice to buy safe food.”
Each chef is given a 180 to 220 pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. Chefs must then present a “Judge’s Plate” of six dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, and overall flavor. The winner who exceeds in those categories is crowned the “BBQ King” of Chicago. In addition to sampling the competitor’s dishes, the all-inclusive ticket includes “BBQ Traditions” – Cochon’s fringe festival of flavor—where notable chefs prepare one dish from their favorite BBQ culture in a non-competitive spirit of collective feasting.
This year's Cochon555 Heritage BBQ chefs include:
Chef Won Kim of Kimski—Korean-Polish Fusion Fare
Chef Frank Valdez of Son of a Butcher Tavern—Modern American Tavern and BBQ Pit
Chef Andres Padilla of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill—Ingredient-Driven Mexican
Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol - New American Gastropub and Nose-to-Tail Cooking
Chef Ashlee Aubin of Salero—Modern Spanish Cuisine
Chefs Rob Levitt and Jimmy Shay of The Butcher and Larder—Whole-Animal Butcher
Chef John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina and El Che Bar—Latin-Inspired Tapas
Chef Jonathan Meyer of Broken Shaker @ Freehand—Street Food-Inspired Global Plates
Chef Greg Laketek of West Loop Salumi—Modern Salumeria
Chef Dan Pancake of Autre Monde—Innovative Mediterranean
Chef Cameron Grant of of Osteria Langhe and Animale—Authentic Italian
Chef Chris Davies of Steadfast—New American with Mediterranean and Portuguese Influence
In addition to the 30 chef-competitor dishes—including 1,500 pounds of heritage pork from family farms—guests nosh on dozens of smoke-kissed, Old and New World barbecue preparations from Korean and African Braai to Asador and regional American styles. Other spreads include artisan and farmhouse cheeses by Pastoral; Tomahawk Bar 4-pound ribeyes with magnums of Faust Cabernet; and a beef tasting from Creekstone Farms.
Cochon555 events are also theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include a Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old paired with a local chef, the Smoked Old Fashioned with Breckenridge Bourbon; a Manhattan Bar featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace bourbons; the Don Julio Perfect Margarita Experience; Tiki Bar presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley; and a Heritage Rum Cart. Wines being poured include Antica Napa Valley; Lake Sonoma Winery; and a vermouth tasting by Martinez Lacuesta.
Cochon555 champions honest food from real farmers with the goal of a sustainable and profitable relationship for all. Placing the spotlight on heritage breed pigs themselves, each event features a Pop-Up Butcher Demo and Auction, with gifts from Williams-Sonoma and John Boos & Co., all of which benefits Piggy Bank, a farm-in-the-making devoted to providing free heritage breed pigs to small farms in exchange for transparent business plans that are posted online.