The flagship event of COCHON555’s weekend, Grand Cochon, featured 10 chefs competing for the crown with 30 best bites from across the country. These winning dishes were served to the sold-out crowd of more than 500 pork-loving epicureans and 20 celebrity judges who voted for their favorite bites, including Andrew Zimmern, Tyler Florence, Laura Werlin, 2016 Food & Wine Best New Chef Brad Kilgore, “2015 King of Porc” Thomas Boemer, Celebrity Chef Mike Isabella, Food Artisan Cristiano Creminelli amongst other notable food celebrities. Together they crowned Walter Manzke of Republique the King of Porc and National Champion. The winner walked away with a four-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region, gifts from Williams-Sonoma, a 2016 Pro Series Grill from Traeger and a Chef’s Coat courtesy of Hedley & Bennett. Grand Cochon was part of a weekend of epic events hosted by Viceroy Snowmass, Snowmass Tourism and Related and the events benefitted Piggy Bank, a farm devoted to providing free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms.
The competing chefs of Grand Cochon included, Angie Mar of The Beatrice Inn (NYC), Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing (MPS), Justin Yu of Oxheart (HOU), Troy Guard of TAG (DEN), Diego Oka of La Mar by Gaston Acurio (MIA), Josh Henderson of Vestal (SEA), Jonah Kim of Yona (DC), Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde(CHI), Marc Zimmerman of Alexander's Steakhouse (SF) and Grand Cochon winner Walter Manzke of Republique (LA). The chefs prepared show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs but it was Chef Walter’s plate that won the event with a Berkshire breed of pig raised by Cook Family Farm. Chef Walter created a winning menu of three delicious bites including Pork Belly with Black River Caviar, Potato Mousseline and Bacon Dashi, Arroz Caldo, a Filipino Rice Porridge featuring Pork Feet, Head and Soft Egg, and Tourte de Gibier, Pork Shoulder with Foie Gras, Porcini, and Australian Winter Truffles.
This fairy-tale heritage pork event included 1,200 pounds of heritage pork raised by family farms. Grand Cochon also featured five winemakers, a Ramen Bar with Wines of Germany, a selection of artisan cheeses, a Seafood Shelf, a Tartare Bar with Creekstone Farms, the Perfect Manhattan Bar featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace, the Tequila Don Julio Perfect Margarita Experience, the Tiki Bar presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, and the Heritage Rum Cart.
On June 16, Cochon555’s fire-kissed cult-favorite festival Heritage Fire returned to Snowmass alongside Grand Cochon. Heritage Fire, the country’s premier live-fire event, included whole animals roasted over open fires prepared by 100 top chefs and butchers cooking over 4,000 pounds of heritage breed animals in celebration of family farming. The event included more than pig, chefs prepared dry-aged beef, lambs, goats, lobster, squab, rabbit, duck, fish, chicken, artisan cheeses, oysters, and heirloom vegetables alongside premium beverages, and new this year, Nick Rancone of Corner Table, Minneapolis won the Somm Smackdown. Guests who arrived during the VIP hour received a specially prepared VIP menu, a fried chicken Welcome Reception and a front-row tasting of “Punch Kings Last Call,” a competition presented by Breckenridge Bourbon with punches featuring ten winning barkeeps from around the country, which crowned Nick Meyer of Rose Cafe, Los Angeles the winner. Special additions included “Experience Greek” featuring Mike Isabella of Graffiato, Adam Howard of G, and George Pagonis of Kapnos, Thomas Boemer of Corner Table (MSP) “2015 King of Porc” cooking with Wines of Rioja, Peter Jacobsen of Team Toast (CA) prepared with Grateful Bread (DEN) and the Ramen Bar featuring Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya (HOU) presented by Wines of Germany. Colorado chefs included Host Chef Will Nolan of Viceroy Snowmass, Alex Siedel of Fruition, Jason Harrison of Red Maple, Lon Symensma of Cholon, Joshua Pollack of Rosenberg’s Bagels, Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly, Brian Busker of Matsuhisa, Paul C. Reilly of Beast + Bottle, Eric Wupperman and Barry Davis from Yellowbelly Chicken, Will Frischkorn of Cured Boulder, Brandon Biederman of Steubens Food Service, Theo Adley of Rino Yacht Club and from Elk Camp, Andrew Helsley and Jim Butchart. Guests also mingled with chefs from all over the country including Francis Derby of The Cannibal (LA), Christopher Szyjka of Chef’s Club (NYC), William Wright of Helen Greek (HOU), Hillary Sterling of Vic’s (NYC), Alfredo Nogueira (CHI) plus many more.
On Friday, June 17, Cochon555 hosted a very exclusive Late Night Asian Speakeasy at Ricard by Viceroy. The all-star dinner featured six celebrity Washington DC chefs including “2016 Prince of Porc” Jonah Kim of Yona, “2015 Prince of Porc” Danny Lee of Mandu, “3-Time Cochon555 Winner” Scott Drewno of the Source by Wolfgang Puck, alongside Seng Pradachith and Bobby Pradachith of Thip Khao. The all-inclusive family-style feast pays homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese dishes that inspire chefs to globalize their menu with new ingredients. Guests experienced interactive courses paired with exquisite wines. Francesco Mionetto kicked-off this culinary marvel celebrating responsible agriculture by sabering a magnum of Mionetto Prosecco followed by a five perfectly paired courses with Mionetto sparkling wines. Guests of the dinner had the opportunity to mingle with participating chefs, winemakers and beverage experts. A portion of the proceeds benefitted Piggy Bank.
“It’s always an honor to host Grand Cochon, and to have amazing partners like Snowmass Tourism and the Viceroy welcome us for this special culinary Cochon weekend takeover,” says Cochon founder Brady Lowe. “A big thanks to Snowmass Tourism, The Viceroy Snowmass, Related and a much-deserved congratulations to our 2016 King of Porc, Chef Walter Manzke of Republique. With events like this, we continue to put the spotlight on heritage species and responsible agriculture through our work with amazing chefs, sponsors, farmers and their teams. We are truly honored to be in the ranks of tremendous food experiences during The Classic. Snowmass is now home to Cochon’s three best expressions of live-event immersion in the good food movement and we are proud to have provided epic culinary experiences.”