Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Watergate Hotel Hosts National Tour Supporting Heritage Breed Pigs with Top Chefs

From our friends at Cochon555...

Cochon555 Releases 2017 Washington, DC Chef Lineup

The Watergate Hotel to host national tour supporting heritage breed pigs with 5 chefs, 5 pigs, 5 winemakers, 5 somms, 5 barkeeps and much more

Cochon555 is a culinary competition for a cause in support of safe, honest foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs. The Washington, DC edition of the event takes place on August 6, 2017. Cochon555 is proud to announce this year’s competing chefs, each of whom will work with a local farm to present tasting-style, whole-hog dishes at the event:

The 5 Competing Chefs:
Chef Ben Pflaumer of Osteria Morini - Rustic Italian Cooking
Chef Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat - Creative Med-Caribbean Fare
Chef BJ Lieberman of Rose’s Luxury - Eclectic Modern American
Chef Kosta Kontogiannis of Kingbird Restaurant at The Watergate Hotel - Contemporary American
Chef Zachary Mills of Wit & Wisdom - Bold New American

The 5 Farmers:
Andrew Crush of Spring House Farm
Clay Trainum of Autumn Olive Farms
Bill Crawford Patterson of Patterson Berkshire Farms
Chas Phillips of Catoctin Mountain Farm
Alec Bradshaw of Leaping Waters Farm

At the center of Cochon555 is a cook-off featuring five chefs cooking five whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative techniques and bold flavor profiles. One week before the event, five competing chefs receive a 200-pound heritage breed pig from a local farmer. They are each tasked to create and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on categories such as utilization; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. The winner from each city is crowned the “Prince of Porc,” and given a place at our national championship, Grand Cochon, to be held in Chicago during October 2017. The Grand Prize? A 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain's most prominent wine region.

Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes - all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork from family farms - guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery featuring La Brea; a Reserve Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Cochon555 events are theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include Welcome Punches featuring Buffalo Trace and DRY Sparkling, inventive cocktails and neat tastings in the Glenfiddich Experimental Dome, Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon; The Manhattan Project presented by Poached Jobs; the Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with hand-crafted chocolates; and a Heritage Rum Cart. New pours incorporating the historic bitters and luscious rums of Angostura will also be unveiled at the Swizzle Bar. An array of wines grouped under the “5 Winemakers” banner will feature Kosta Browne, CIRQ, Silver Oak Cellars, Scholium Project; Element Winery; Pax Wine Cellars and more. Further tables include Wines of the World, Azzurro Wine Company, and a host of artisanal cider and beer offerings.

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets $400 (includes a multi-course charity dinner prepared by 3 celebrity chefs on Friday night hosted by Spike Mendelsohn at Santa Rosa; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity.) To purchase tickets, visit

The Watergate Hotel, 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington DC, 20037

Sunday, August 6, 2017

4 PM for VIP entry, 5 PM for General Admission

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 and those who raise and cook them, each event features a Pop-Up Butcher Demo and Auction. Together with gifts from Williams-Sonoma and John Boos & Co., they will raise money to benefit 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 in the name of “open-source agriculture.”

“We’re incredibly excited to return to Washington DC during our 2017 tour,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “This event combines education and innovation in support of a return to heritage breed and family farming. The impact is local, but it is also about the future - we want our children to be able to enjoy safer, more honest, and delicious food for years to come,“ continues Lowe. “It’s only a matter of time until people demand better food choices when cooking or eating dinner. And we are standing right there with them, championing transparent foodways and a commitment to what’s local and responsible.”

About the Cochon555 US Tour:
The Cochon555 US Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through an innovative nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 16 major culinary markets in North America annually. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions including Heritage Fire (live-fire); Heritage BBQ (global grilling cultures); and Grand Cochon (national whole-hog championship). Cochon555 cultivates a long-term impact for heritage species, raised by family farms in top culinary markets in North America. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and 16 culinary schools. For more details and videos of events, visit or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.

About Piggy Bank:
Piggy Bank is a pig farming sanctuary. Harboring a Noah’s Ark-worthy selection of heritage breeds, it provides free genetics and access to shared business plans to emerging family farms. Piggy Bank aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and benefit from the sharing of genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to thrive as small businesses. The Piggy Bank farm, to be located in Missouri, raises heritage breed pigs to be gifted to communities, while building a model of agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank is a nonprofit corporation with federal tax exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Follow the Piggy Bank conversation on Twitter @PiggyBankOrg. For more information, watch the video at or visit