The traveling culinary competition Cochon 555 — five pigs, five chefs, five winemakers — lands this Sunday in San Francisco at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. Though the squeamish (or fans of Babe and Wilbur, for that matter) might want to steer clear, pork-loving epicureans should start smelling bacon bits in anticipation of this epic pig cook-off between five of SF's culinary heavyweights.
Who wouldn't like two free tickets to the porcine event of the summer season? Cochon 555’s road show concludes this Sunday, June 6, at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, where the final batch of five chefs will compete for the coveted “Prince of Porc” title. Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Anthony Strong (Pizzeria Delfina), Dennis Lee (Namu), Thomas McNaughton (Flour and Water) and Morgan Maki (Bi-Rite) will go snout to snout, each using an entire pig to create the winning gastronomic spread.
I basically starved myself in preparation for judging Cochon 555 at Silverado Resort on Sunday. By the time the plates of food came trickling into judge's chambers round about 5 p.m., I was ravenous. I played it safe, though, sampling bites from the bites, trying not to get full before the arrival of Devin Knell's pork paté set on a perfect rectangle of pistachio genoise and Dennis Lee's ssäm. Somehow, miraculously, I made it through unscathed. You know what took the toll? The free-flowing whiskey. Figures.
Pig-mania is well-established, the inroads running deep. If you are a pork enthusiast, then your Stanley Cup, your Superbowl, your Oscars is Cochon 555—a ten-city tour that kicks off February 28 in Napa and concludes next June in San Francisco. The premise is simple—five chefs, five pigs and a little friendly competition, with the winner earning both bragging rights as well as the title "Prince of Porc" (or Princess, though there has yet to be one).