Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cochon 555 Congratulates Danny Lee of Mandu, 2015 DC Prince of Porc

Mandu's Danny Lee (Photo: Galdones Photography/COCHON 555)

From our friends at Cochon 555...

Culinary Competition Announces DC Winning Chef Going to Snowmass/Aspen

Cochon US Tour announces the DC winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition. Chef Danny Lee of Mandu was crowned the Prince of Porc on Sunday, March 22 at Union Market, and advances to Snowmass/Aspen for a double-hit weekend in June Including Grand Cochon and Heritage Fire. Going on its seventh year, Cochon 555 showcases the best bites, chefs and who’s who of the good food movement. The signature event featured an all-star lineup of chefs, judges and sponsors to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and today’s emerging chef community.

This year’s competing chefs included Spike Mendelsohn of Bearnaise, Victor Albisu of Del Campo & Taco Bamba, Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia and Jonah Kim of Yona alongside winner Danny Lee of Mandu. The chefs prepared show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from family farms in a head to tail showcase for a crowd of pork-loving gourmands. Chef Danny won the event with the most popular breed of pig called the Berkshire raised by Buckingham Berkshires. This breed originates from Britain and is a favorite among chefs because of its intramuscular marbling. The breed yields brighter pork than most and features a thick, delicious fat cap. The sweet meat blended with creamy hints of nuttiness worked in tandem with Chef Danny’s winning menu of five uniquely created delicious bites. Dishes included Jokbal, trotters braised in mixed spices and herbs, Bindaedduk, a pancake of tenderloin strips, Mandu, ground shoulder and cheek dumplings, Dweji Galbi JJim, slow braised spare ribs with soy, Duru JJigee, slices of belly marinated in homemade gochujang, sautéed with kimchi and to close, Mochi, crispy skin mixed with sweetened red beans.

Erik Bruner-Yang, last year’s Prince of Porc, led the pack of judges in selecting the 2015 “Prince of Porc,” alongside other notable judges including Bryan Voltaggio of Volt Restaurant, Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple DC, Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley, Nick Stefanelli of Bibiana and Cathy Rhine of Le Cordon Bleu. Chef Danny will go on to represent DC against the other nine cities’ winners in Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen in June where the grand champion will be rewarded with a 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region. New in 2015, the winner's kitchen countertops will be resurfaced with Wilsonart Quartz decorative surfacing, a remarkable, beautifully engineered stone material from America's countertop leader.

"It’s always amazing to be in DC; it was an honor to be surrounded by such a diverse and talented group of chefs” said Cochon founder Brady Lowe. “A big thank you to Union Market, the host of the event, to everyone who participated and a much-deserved congratulations to winning chef, Danny. It was such an amazing turnout, we had three completely sold out events and I’m truly honored to have collaborated with a team of amazing chefs, sponsors and partners who worked together to put so much energy toward the good food movement.”

Throughout the event, a series of activations like the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, with support of Williams-Sonoma, featured a live butchering demonstration with Alexia Sutter of Red Apron Butcher, who cut a Hereford from Spring House Farm, and raised $1100 for L’Academie de Cuisine.

Other event highlights included notable tastings from Washington State Wines, Wines of Rioja and Brewery Ommegang. A series of “pop-up” culinary experiences included the Petit Format Bar presented by Wilsonart Quartz decorative surfacing, the Wines of Rioja Tapas Bar spotlighting Chef Haidar Karoum and the delicacies of Agromar, the Mezcal Chupito Bar and the TarTar Bar featuring Kyle Bailey from Birch and Barley. This notable group of local and national sponsors hosted exceptional experiences from Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Breckenridge Bourbon, Whistle Pig Rye, New Holland Artisan Spirits, Hirsch, Luxardo, Righteous Cheese, Rappahannock Oyster Shelf, Red Apron Butcher Bacon, Black River Caviar, Creminelli and La Brea Bakery.

Fans of this epic culinary competition can continue to satisfy their hunger in other ways by getting in on the action and entering any of the live Cochon contests. Visit and sign up to win your chance at a Cochon monumental experience, which includes unforgettable trips and extravagant prizes that are worth more than $25,000. Lucky winners will be rewarded with prizes that include an epic trip to the Rioja Wine and Tapas festival in Chicago on May 2, a newly resurfaced dream kitchen sponsored by Williams-Sonoma, Wilsonart, Shun, Chefs Feed & Food Republic and a four-day trip to Mexico. The Mexican getaway, presented by Mezcales de Leyenda, Simmer, Panna Cooking and Cochon 555, asks contest participants to share their favorite Mezcal recipe using the Simmer App on their iPhone. It’s time for Cochon fans to get treated! Don’t miss out on these unforgettable opportunities and sign up today.

About Cochon 555:
Cochon 555 was created in 2009 by Taste Network’s Brady Lowe in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds. Each year, the COCHON US TOUR - a 20-city, premium good food tour, draws from the biggest names in the hospitality industry. The series of hyper-local events support education, awareness and growth of family farms raising heritage breed pigs. Since its launch in 2009, Cochon 555 and its programs, such as Chef’s Course, have created a responsive movement nationwide with people who care about local food made by honest people. The tour has invested over 1 million in farms, culinary schools and charities across the country and they are only getting started. For more information about the cause, visit or follow the conversation @cochon555 on Twitter.