Marking the 5th anniversary of this one-of-kind culinary competition, Cochon 555 challenged five of Miami's top chefs to prepare a menu using family-raised heritage bred pigs. From liver to hearts and even pig's blood, chefs created dishes that used their chosen breed in its entirety. The succulent dishes (and sometimes out of the ordinary) included pork corn dog's dressed with lard mustard aioli, pork rinds seasoned with pig's blood salt, and chocolate bacon brownies infused with pig's blood. The Chefs: Aaron Brooks of The EDGE Steakhouse, Timon Balloo of Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill, Jeffrey McInnis of Yardbird, David Thomas of The Bazaar, and Cesar Zapata of The Federal.
Cochon 555 Miami - 5th Anniversary Recap · Brickell
Created in 2008 as a response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds, COCHON is a national event series that all started from a series of conversations. Farmers struggling to keep their family businesses alive, restaurants looking to source exceptional ingredients and consumers wanting to know more about where their food comes from and how it has been raised. All of these conversations converged into one idea: the ultimate quest for content and flavor. The Cochon Tour is a journey that food lovers want to join, a simple approach to preserving our heritage, real flavor and honest traditions.
The Four Seasons executive chef Aaron Brooks was crowned the Prince of Pork Miami defeating Yardbird's Jeff McInnis, Sugarcane's Timon Balloo, the Bazaar's David Thomas, and the Federal's Cesar Zapata.
The chefs teased our palates with outrageous dishes one after another. The most entertaining bite goes to David Thomas' table which operated more like a science lab and served Dragon's Breath Pork Rinds, a crispy chilled morsel that literally had smoke coming out of our noses!
Timon Balloo prepared a delicious tapioca with coconut lard jelly, mango & blood-schezwan peppercorn ice cream. Chef Zapata greeted guests with a Chicago Dog made with pork shoulder, gougères, mortadella mousse, tomato-jalapeño relish, spicy mustard, and celery seeds.
It was a close match with McInnis' "Wonder Bread" Pillows stuffed with barbecued pulled pork, but it was clear that guests chose the newly reigning Prince of Pork, Chef Brooks. With dishes that kept us coming back for 3rd and 4th rounds, Brooks' was an obvious winner. His winning menu featured delicious kielbasa bites with Pink Lady apples glazed with smoky maple syrup; a porchetta sandwich with shaved foot and habanero jelly; pork and clams with roasted garlic, chillies and coconut; smoked pork rib chili with blue cheese and fried tortillas; and a chocolate bacon brownie laced with pig's blood ice cream (and yes, we ate it!)
In addition, to celebrating five years of heritage breeds, Cochon 555 added five bourbons to this year's lineup.
Breckenridge Bourbon, Eagle Rare, Templeton Rye, High West, Buffalo Trace and Four Roses were all available for guests to sample alongside the Perfect Manhattan Bar featuring Luxardo and Eagle Rare.
Also new in 2013 is the Chupito/Mezcal Bar, a tasting experience featuring Mezcales de Leyenda, Pierde Almas, Illegal and Fidencio. The infamous Craft Cheese Bar saw a facelift and featured Cypress Grove Chevre, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Spring Brook Farm with an exclusive tasting of blues from Rogue Creamery, and favorites from Kerrygold.
Here's our visual recap of the evening's festivities.
COCHON 555 MIAMI - April 21, 2013