Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cochon 555 Stops in DC Next Weekend

From our friends at Cochon 555...

Cochon 555 Trots into DC for the Most Epic Weekend in Seven Years, including Two Amazing Dinners, a Culinary Competition and a Who's Who Lineup

Hyper-local culinary tour comes to town and sets course on a safer, more flavorful food system

If you are down for heritage farming and roller-coasters of flavor; if you're excited by a culinary competition; or if you just love to eat pork, clear your weekend calendar. Cochon 555, the country’s most talked about culinary competition arrives in DC with an epic 3-day feast showcasing the best bites, chefs and who’s who of the good food movement. The goal, to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and tilt the scales to favor today’s emerging chef community struggling to pay premium prices for safer, more flavorful food raised by real farmers.

One-of-a-kind dining experiences Friday and Saturday lead up to the main event, Cochon 555, on Sunday at Union Market, the official host of the weekend. The events are part of a national culinary competition that showcases notable chefs, barrier-breaking women, artist-like butchers, spirited bartenders, top winemakers, brewers, distillers, alongside decadent oysters, caviar and sweets. Here is your chance to get in on the action.

Sunday, March 22, is the main event, Cochon 555, which features five chefs cooking five pigs in a friendly competition. This year’s competing chefs include Spike Mendelsohn of Bearnaise, Victor Albisu of Del Campo & Taco Bamba, Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia, Danny Lee of Mandu and Jonah Kim of Yona. The five chefs, champions to whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. They will be preparing the following heritage breeds from farms including Faith Like A Mustard Seed Farm, Spring House Farm, Buckingham Berkshires, Autumn Olive Farms and Leaping Waters Farm.

The weekend kicks-off on Friday, March 20, with the Chef’s Course Dinner, “Rustic, Refined & Foie,” hosted at The Arsenal at Bluejacket and paired with amazing Washington State Wines and house-brewed Bluejacket beers. Chef Kyle Bailey welcomes guest chefs Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen, Matt Greene of JM Stock Provisions & Supply, Jesse Miller of Bar Pilar, Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop, and COCHON 555 founder, Brady Lowe for a seated five-course dinner. The three-hour culinary experience includes thoughtful chef introductions of each course ($100 all inclusive) as they work together to prepare this special, one-night-only epicurean feast, emphasizing high-quality, local ingredients and responsible agriculture.

On Saturday, March 21 with Cochon 555’s “Large Format Feast,” a spotlight ($125 all inclusive) four-course meat-feast at Del Campo with Chef Victor Albisu. The seated dinner, featuring Anchor Distilling, will celebrate family-raised beef and Duroc pork from Creekstone Farms. This epic “Big Beef vs. Heritage Pig” dinner series features notable chefs who are reinventing the traditional steakhouse experience to spotlight the growing popularity of heritage pork on steakhouse menus, ultimately setting course for a safer food system.

Going on its seventh year, Cochon 555 is regarded as the nation’s most flavorful culinary tour. This year’s judges, led by last year’s Prince of Porc, Erik Bruner-Yang and 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 will help select DC’s “Prince of Porc.” The winner goes on to compete for the title of "King or Queen of Porc” at the tour finale, Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen in June. The grand champion will be rewarded with a 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region. And, new in 2015, the winner's kitchen countertops will be resurfaced with Wilsonart Quartz decorative surfacing, a remarkable, beautiful engineered stone material from America's countertop leader.

The DC version of this fairy-tale heritage pork event includes more than 36 chef-prepared dishes in an all-inclusive stand up reception with notable tastings from Washington State Wines and Wines of Rioja along with a series of “pop-up” culinary experiences including 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 infamous TarTar Bare featuring Kyle Bailey from Birch and Barley. This notable group of local and national sponsors will be hosting 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.

We are proud to also announce the return of the Pop-Up Butcher Shop with the support of Williams-Sonoma - a live butchering demonstration with Alexia Sutter of Red Apron Butcher, raising money for Le Cordon Bleu. New sponsors in 2015 include Whistle Pig & PANNA’s new Simmer app.

Both ticket levels include endless food and drink options. Specifically, general admission offers over 36 dishes prepared from nose to tail, paired with wines, brews and spirits. VIP guests are invited to attend a seminar hosted by Washington State Wines and one hour early access to food, drink and an opportunity to mingle with notable chefs, judges and media. All are invited to the Cochon 555 After Party.

“I’m excited about all the new partners in 2015 who support family farming, independent business and heritage breed pigs. Each event aims to lessen the burden on the small farmers to hold surplus inventory and streamline the sales process. This year we continue to expand with a guest chef and winemaker dinner series over the course of each weekend, a revamped welcome reception, and a flavorful lineup of experiences that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. “Together, with some of the best chefs and partners in DC, we amplify the conversation of heritage pork, which for many is a ‘gateway meat’ to a larger appreciation of where our food comes from and the people that raise it, leading to more mindful eating.”

Where:  UNION MARKET (Official Host)
1309 5th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

When:  Sunday, Mar. 22, 2015
VIP Admission: 4PM                                                                                                                    
General Admission: 5PM

Tickets:  $125 General Admission
$200 VIP
Purchase tickets at

Fans of this epic culinary competition can 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.