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).
Ready to go hog wild? The public is invited to check out the swine spectacle (get your tickets here, and use the code "pigday" for a $10 discount), sample lots and lots and lots of pork (and vote for their favorite chef). This year, the participating Napa chefs include Christopher Kostow from Meadowood, Devin Knell from the French Laundry, Peter Pahk of Silverado Resort, where the event will take place, Dennis Lee from Namu (i see kim chee in our future) and John Stewart and Duskie Estes from Sonoma's Zazu. The pork will be complimented by lard-cutting libations from a host of local wineries as well as Magnolia—Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats will be on-hand to lead a butchering demonstration and Jeremy Fox of Ubuntu, praise Jesus, will be providing some vegetal sides.
Most exciting of all, I have the great honor of judging this year's competition, sharing duties with an impressive line-up of discriminating palates, including Nancy Oakes and Bruce Aidells, Taylor Boetticher and Staffan Terje. I think I'll live tweet the experience, chop by chop. Come Monday morning, I suspect I'll be ready for my alfalfa sprout sandwich.