Cochon555 returns to Houston on February 28th
If you love a good cause and want to attend one of the tastiest culinary events in the country, then clear your weekend calendar when Cochon555 returns to Houston on February 28th when five chefs compete with five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. The food is hyper-local and eating for a cause has never tasted to good. The weekend begins with back to back charity dinners followed by the head-to-toe, nationally celebrated Cochon555 at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown on Sunday afternoon. Guests buying an all-inclusive Cochon555 ticket sample forty of the best bites prepared by top chefs paired with artisan wines selected by celebrated winemakers and sommeliers alongside an endless culinary cocktail program from notable barkeeps. The events benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. Guests are united with the who’s who of the good food movement helping to raise monies to support the first open-source platform for family farming. For an in-depth look at the Cochon555 movement, a series of stunning videos or to purchase tickets to these must-do culinary experiences, please visit www.Cochon555.com.
On Friday, February 26th, Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya Itanji will host a guest chef Late Night Asian Speakeasy featuring an all-star lineup including Anthony Calleo of Pi Pizza, Jordan Asher, Adam Doris of Pax Americana and Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata with the support of Sun Noodle. The family-style feast paying homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese restaurants begins with a reception of hand-crafted punches with The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley alongside a special tasting of Martínez Lacuesta reserve vermouths. Watch the dinner sneak preview video here: www.AsianSpeakeasy.com. On Saturday, February 27th, Lyle Bento of Southern Goods will host a Chef’s Course Dinner, a refined three-hour culinary experience featuring five chefs including Jonathan Jones of El Big Bad, PJ Stoops of Foreign Correspondents, Randy Rucker of Bramble and Chris Leung of Cloud 10 Creamery cooking a five-courses paired with premium wines. The all-inclusive dinner begins with a reception of passed hors d’oeuvres from each chef alongside a special tasting of Martínez Lacuesta Vermouths followed by a seated dinner paired with Alysian Wines. The charity dinners are limited to 40 seats and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank. Reservations are currently are online for purchase at www.Piggy-Bank.org.
On Sunday, February 28th, Cochon555 will be held at JW Marriott Houston Downtown. This year’s competing chefs include Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya Itanji, Justin Yu of Oxheart Restaurant, David Cordua of Americas, Richard Knight of Hunky Dory and William Wright of Helen Greek Food and Wine. The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Prince of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th. Judges this year include Host Chef Jelle Vandenbroucke and Spencer Lane of JW Marriott Houston Downtown, Shaun Sharma of El Big Bad, Johnny Perez of Culinary Institute LeNôtre, Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner of Pass & Provisions, Phaedra Cook of Houston Press, Greg Morago of Houston Chronicle, Taylor Byrne Dodge of My Table Houston, Freelancer Mai Pham, Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye and new this year, the five Sommeliers in the Somm Smackdown including; Marc Borel of Rainbow Lodge, Craig Collins MS of ELM Resto Group, Natalie Vaclavik of Victory, Lexey Davis of Brick & Mortar and Dale Ellington of Kata Robata will help find the winner.
Additional Culinary Programming beyond the 36 competition dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs will include the TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms featuring Chef Bobby Matos of State of Grace, “Luxe Butter Bar” premium butter experience featuring the wines of Antica Napa Valley, Epicurean Butter and La Brea Bakery plus a reserve tasting of Prosciutto di Parma. All guests will enjoy The Artisan Cheese Bar featuring Cypress Grove Chevre, Coach Farm, Parrano, 34 Degrees and Creminelli Fine Meats and the new Seafood Shelf featuring Rappahannock River Oysters. Everyone casting a vote for the best bite of the day at the voting table gets a ticket to “Taste the New” Ramen Bar prepared by Manabu ‘Hori’ Horiuchi of Kata Robata paired with the stunning Wines of Germany and featuring Sun Noodle followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop right before the Awards Ceremony. All guests will have the opportunity to take home delicious heritage breed pork from the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, a butchering demonstration with Andrew Vaserfirer of Revival Market. The Butcher Shop is a retail experience raising money for the charity Piggy Bank and will be hosted by celebrated emcee Billy Harris of Hanging with Harris with the support of Williams-Sonoma and our friends at Hedley & Bennett. Get a preview of the event by watching the flavor-packed video http://j.mp/Cochon555-Trailer.
The Cochon555 Culinary Cocktail programming starts during VIP hour with Cochon555’s Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Bourbon, a regional competition featuring five notable barkeeps including Morgan Weber of Coltivare Pizza & Garden, Leslie Ross of Canard, Omella Ashcraft of Helen Greek Food and Wine, Chelsea Magee of State of Grace and Noah Edger of Izakaya all hoping to win passage for a chance at the national title. During registration, everyone enjoys “The Welcome Punch” reception featuring Buffalo Trace, DRY Sparkling and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley who will be offering a chance to win two round-trip tickets to Heritage Fire in Napa. Wine is back in a big way in 2016 with the ““Five Winemakers” including sought-after wines from Paul Draper (Ridge Wines), Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Abe Schoener (Scholium Project), Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni Vineyards), Pax Mahle (Pax Wine Cellars) and special guest Matt Courtney of Arista Vineyards, a spotlight Sommelier Smackdown, Lake Sonoma Winery, Alysian Wine, Luiz Martinez Lacuesta and Azzurro Wine Company. The “World of Wines” table will have the crowds watching and sampling as five of the city’s top sommeliers tell us what they think pairs best with heritage breed pork and the best wine across-the-board will be selected the winner of the event. Tequila enthusiasts will love “The Perfect Margarita Experience” and the opportunity to discover hand-crafted luxury tequilas including Don Julio Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, 70th Anniversary and Don Julio 1942. Going mobile is the “Heritage Rum Cart” that will travel through the crowds featuring Rhum Clement and Plantation, premium brands with an educational approach to showcasing styles and the regional influences of rum including Spanish, French and British. The “Chupito” Mezcal Experience will feature Don Amado Mezcal, Fidencio Mezcal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Koch el Mezcal, La Venenosa and Mezcal Derrumbes. Bourbon and whiskey lovers rejoice with the return of the “Perfect Manhattan” an experience featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace finished with Luxardo cherries in a hand-prepared classic topped with a special treat from Creminelli Fine Meats. The amazing “TIKI BAR” features tiki-inspired libations featuring The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley and Breckenridge Distillery. Classic cocktail enthusiasts will enjoy the Smoked Old Fashioned presented by Breckenridge Bourbon with support from Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao. Fans of low-proof cocktails will love the reserve beauties at Martínez Lacuesta’s Vermut Bar. Friends in need of non-alcoholic options will experience the culinary soda lineup from DRY Sparkling and right before the awards, everyone is invited to experience “The Last Word” featuring Junipero and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur right before a quick video and announcement of the 2016 Princess or Prince of Porc Houston. The one-of-a-kind experience will take place at JW Marriott Houston Downtown. Don’t miss the chance to buy tickets to this fairy-tale heritage pork event as tickets are expected to sell-out to this an all-inclusive stand up reception.
“I’m excited about all the new partners in 2016 who support family farming and independent business. The Cochon555 Tour is now a movement, from hosting celebrated culinary events and dinners all over North America to reaching a global audience with the news of the first open-source agricultural model. The tour is dedicated to helping family farmers succeed, period,” stated founder Brady Lowe. “This doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, together, with some of the best chefs and partners in hospitality, we amplify the conservation of heritage pork once again, which for many is a ‘gateway’ to a larger appreciation of where our food comes from and the people that raise it, leading to more mindful eating and safer food choices for our youth. We can’t wait to return for an amazing weekend in Houston with two dinners raising money for Piggy Bank, a 501(c)(3) project of the Giving Back Fund.”
About Cochon555 US Tour
The Cochon555 US Tour, executes a variety of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs with the world’s first nose-to-tail pig competition. Created in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breed pigs, this epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually with over 60 events. The tour also features a multitude of live-event expressions including Heritage BBQ (global cultures), Heritage Fire (live-fire event), EPIC Cochon (hyper-premium), All-Star Cochon (fan favorites) and Cochon Island (agri-tourism). All Cochon555 events cultivate a long-term impact for heritage species raised by family farms, reaching the top culinary markets in North America while promoting our sponsors’ messages to 16,000 guests by drawing from the biggest names in the hospitality industry, including 2,200+ chefs, 150+ family farms and 16 culinary schools. Since 2009, 50,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork for the first time, more than $500,000 has been donated to charities and over $750,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. Together with winemakers, brewers, distillers and craft food makers they create authentic culinary events celebrating champions in the good food movement. For more details about the events and to see videos referencing all the events in the Cochon555 family, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe, founder of the Cochon555 US Tour and Taste Network, Piggy Bank’s mission is to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. The sanctuary will change the future of food by uniting a community working together for safer, responsible farming practices and sharing of genetics, livestock and the sharing of information. Piggy Bank is dedicated to creating the first Open Source agriculture platform through the responsible farming of heritage species. The Piggy Bank farm, located in Missouri, will raise pigs to be gifted only to communities dedicated to elevating the cause and expanding the model of social and agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank is a project of The Giving Back Fund, Inc., a Massachusetts 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 about Piggy Bank or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Kerith@piggy-bank.org, watch the video http://j.mp/PIGGY_BANK or visit www.piggy-bank.org.