Cochon US Tour announces the New York City winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition. Chef Seamus Mullen of Tertulia was crowned the Prince of Porc on Sunday, January 26 at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, official partner to the event. Going on its sixth year, Cochon 555 presented by Goose Island Beer Co. is the nation’s premier culinary tour touting the benefits of eating heritage breed pigs. The kickoff event featured an all-star lineup of chefs, judges, and sponsors to celebrate breed diversity and family farming.
This year’s competing chefs included Frank Langello of Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Michael Toscano of Perla, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, Lauren Hirschberg of Craftbar, and David Standridge of Market Table. They battled it out by preparing show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from snout to tail for a crowd of pork-loving gourmands. The swine laden menu included candied pork belly pops, terrine of smoked facial bits, applejack braised pork shoulder, pâté in pastry crust, porchetta sandwiches with pork broth dip, dumplings stuffed with pork leg, skin and bones, and butterscotch pork rind cookies.
A pack of notable judges, including Todd Coleman and Jamie Bissonnette, had the arduous task of selecting the ultimate winner to be crowned Prince of Porc.
“Judging yesterday’s Cochon 555 New York event ended up being a lot harder than I thought,” says Todd Coleman. “Each chef prepared five to six dishes from a select heritage pig; each dish was thoughtful, intricate, and perfectly executed. Multiply that times five and we had a nearly impossible constellation of dishes to judge, from Michael Toscano’s spiedino to David Standridge’s pate en croute. In the end, though, my favorite table ended up being Seamus Mullen’s; he used every part of the pig—even the whiskers!” Mullen will go on to compete against the other 9 cities’ winners in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June. The winner will be deemed the "King or Queen of Porc” and will win a four-day wine excursion to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.
"Kicking off the US tour in New York City is always an extreme honor especially with the esteemed group of champion chefs, judges, friends, and partners,” says Cochon founder Brady Lowe. “The competition though friendly yielded many tasty and wonderful bites. While Seamus walked away with the win, the real winners of the event are the family farms raising heritage breed pigs.”
The tour’s official cocktail competition, Punch Kings, featured Breckenridge Bourbon in bowls of boozy punch created by NYC barkeeps. This year’s winner, James Menite of Crown Restaurant, created a prosciutto-laced bourbon cocktail and took home a $1,000 bottle of Breckenridge Reserve.
In addition to the 30 chef-prepared dishes, guests, which included Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali, experienced Goose Island’s vintage ales, Rioja wines, Mark Ladner’s tartare served on crispy pork rinds showered with black truffle shavings, miniature mason jars filled with Manhattan cocktails, and endless amounts of Prosciutto di Parma perfectly sliced on a roaming Berkel. The crowd ended the night with a 6th heritage breed pig shredded into bowls of noodle soup created by chef Corwin Kave, macaroon ice cream sandwiches and crispy bacon stuffed meringues.