Cochon 555 is making its much-anticipated return to Miami – a few months early this year – taking over the ballroom at the Four Seasons in Downtown Miami on Sunday, February 9. The third Miami installment of this culinary tour will feature five chefs, five pigs, five wineries and five bourbons, in its annual event celebrating breed diversity and family farming.
The all-star lineup of chefs competing to be this year’s “King or Queen of Porc” include Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Dena Marino of MC Kitchen and host and returning champ Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar.
By now most of you know the drill — these five chefs will battle it out in a friendly competition by preparing a maximum of six dishes each created from one whole heritage breed pig. Between the votes from the crowd, along with a panel of judges including Chat Chow TV, a winner will be selected to represent Miami at the Grand Cochon during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.
If you’re anything like us you’ve been counting down the days to this year’s event and curious what the chefs plan to serve up. We asked the competing chefs what they’ll be bringing to the table on Sunday, and while most details were kept under wraps, we still managed to get some interesting tidbits on what to expect.
Hanlon is planning on classic approach to his dishes by utilizing old school techniques along with plenty of strong flavors. He adds that they’ve been brainstorming some great ideas for the pork-based desserts since those can be a challenge to pull off.
Going the nostalgic route is Marino, who will be preparing dishes inspired by family memories and time spent in the kitchen with her grandmother during her youth.
Defending “King of Porc” Brooks says he has his eyes set on a repeat title and another trip to Aspen but believes Mendin will be the man to beat, “he is a master of pork and knows how to make things tasty.”
Speaking of Mendin, he alluded to some pork sushi making an appearance on his Cochon menu. Also, he added that there will be some limited edition Pubbelly swag on display, which might just feature their logo in a whole new way.
The most coy of the group, Herron from MGFD, kept his menu under tight wraps but revealed that he plans on “keeping it fresh and simple.”
If chowing down on dishes prepared by all these great chefs weren’t enough, Cochon has much more lined up including desserts prepared by Antonio Bachour and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, a TarTare Bar by Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar, a “Punch Kings” cocktail competition, a live butchering demonstration, and a sixth heritage breed pig prepared in a late-night Asian Speakeasy style by Jason Pringle of db Bistro Moderne who had these tasty pics to tease.
Hungry yet? We thought so. Buy your tickets here to buy regular admission tickets for $105 (a $25 discount), which get you in the door at 5pm, or get the VIP pass for $165 (a $40 discount) which gets you early 4pm entry. Make sure to bring your appetite this Sunday.