Diego Oka Comes Out Victorious at the Fifth Annual Cochon 555

The fifth installment of the traveling pork feast, Cochon 555, came to Miami over the weekend and like always it was a deliciously good time.

This year’s competing chefs included Anthony LePape of Ritz-Carlton South Beach – Official Host and Hotel, Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon, Alex Chang of Vagabond, Michael Fiorello Michael Fiorello of Beachcraft and Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio. All the chefs prepared show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from family farms in a head to tail showcase for the crowd — with Oka coming out the victor. Using a Large Black breed of pig raised by Maverick Meats/FKS Farms, Oka created five uniquely created delicious bites that included Tamal de Quinoa, Pan Con Chicharron, Lamay Cebiche Salad, Morcilla Adobo, and Chaufa Tacu Tacu.

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But of course that wasn’t the only thing on the menu. Throughout the event, a series of activations beyond the 36 competition dishes included the TarTare Bar with Creekstone Farms featuring Richard Hales of Blackbrick, a ‘Welcome Bite’ prepared by Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar and the “Luxe Butter Bar” premium butter experience featuring the wines of Antica Napa Valley, Chef’s Warehouse and La Brea Bakery were all on hand.

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Later on in the evening guests munched on a new Ramen Bar prepared by Jose Mendin of Pubbelly paired with Wines of Germany followed by the Pop-Up Pie Shop with The Good Pie Company before the Awards Ceremony. All guests had the opportunity to take home delicious heritage breed pork from the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, a butchering demonstration with Andres Barrientos of Miami Smokers.

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Drinks are never an afterthought at Cochon 555 and this year was no exception. The Cochon555 Culinary Cocktail programming started during VIP hour with Cochon555’s Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Bourbon. Competing this year was Brian Sassen of Repour, Nico Abarzua of Beachcraft, Tim Christakis of Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, Lef Kraounakis of La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Mike Berland of Ritz-Carlton South Beach and winner Jack Araque of BHB Bar/St. Regis Bar with his cocktail, American Mojo who will go on to compete at Last Call at Heritage Fire in Snowmass/Aspen for the national title.

During registration, everyone enjoyed “The Welcome Punch” reception featuring Buffalo Trace, DRY Sparkling and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Wine is back in a big way in 2016 with plenty of winemakers on hand pouring their best bottles.

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Many cocktail stations were also on hand like “The Perfect Margarita Experience,” the “Heritage Rum Cart” featuring Plantation Rum, Rhum Clement and Diplomatico Rum, the “Chupito” Mezcal Experience featured Don Amado Mezcal, Fidencio Mezcal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Koch el Mezcal, La Venenosa, La Niña del Mezcal and Mezcal Derrumbes, the “Perfect Manhattan” experience featuring Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace and the “TIKI BAR” showcased tiki-inspired libations featuring The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley and Breckenridge Distillery.

Right before the awards, everyone was invited to experience “The Last Word” featuring Junipero Gin and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur right before a quick video and the announcement of the 2016 Prince of Porc Miami, Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio.

By the end of the night, the Piggy Bank Raised over $6100 for Farm Devoted to Giving Free Pigs to New Farmers. Check out the delicious highlights below.

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