“It’s not just farm to table that matters–it’s what happens in between, the how and where, the history of what we eat. More and more of us want to skip the processing and get our foods straight from the pasture but we don’t always know how to get it, where to look, or what to ask for. The epicurean audience at every Cochon event enjoys a direct link to the sources, a chance to learn from food experts including top chefs, winemakers, farmers, thought-leaders, and food media. I am passionate about increasing awareness of the sources that support a more natural, sustainable food system. One event can not change the entire food production system (not yet, anyway), but we can celebrate producers who are favorably tilting the scales back towards good, local, responsibly grown food."
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.
Since inception, the tour and it’s programs like Chef’s Course have supported responsible family farming across the country. As a result, thousands have feasted on heritage pigs and thanks to the media, our billion impressions reinforce thousands of conversations surrounding responsible agriculture each year - more than any other culinary event in the country. Before 2013, the tour will have donated more than $270,000 to charities and directly paid over $400,000 to great farmers across the country. The FIFTH ANNIVERSARY TOUR will continue to further the conversation of heritage pigs on dinner tables across the nation.
The tour kicks-off in New York City each year with over 400 commitments from culinary pioneers in all corners of the country. The message of honest food and best in seasons reaches all types of lifestyles through a social mixture of events. The 14 city tour gradually moves from distinguished Grand Ballroom style tasting receptions to elegant, outdoor wine-country cooking events where chefs and butchers work together to prepare nature’s bounty over all-natural fuels. By September, the program closes with 3-day festival called Heritage BBQ celebrating wineries, craft spirits, family farms, butchers, National Bourbon Month and BBQ.
OUR SPONSORS ARE PAVING THE ROAD TO A BETTER FOOD SYSTEMDOWNLOAD 2014 “SIXTH” US TOUR
The event is casual. Each venue is different, so please dress accordingly to the style of our host. A good pair of jeans and a jacket are considered dressed up. If we gave away prizes for the best pig t-shirt, we would.
Yes, groups of 10 get 1 free ticket. If you feel you have a good question, please contact us.
COCHON promises to be a fantastic event with five outstanding pig breeds. Make sure you watch the butcher competition, when two cutters go head-to-head in a display of speed and superior carving. The award ceremony is at 7:30pm, followed by an after party with our good friends at a location TBD, everyone is welcome to join us after the event.
Cochon 555 is a casual event. Come VERY hungry, and on time. It’s like a movie, arrive late, you will miss the most important developments–in this case, the food. Cochon 555 is a stand-up tasting event. The five chefs in competition have spent more than five days cooking these amazing heritage pigs and they will be campaigning for your vote. Cochon 555 promotes the idea of slow food prepared with respect for the animal, purpose and passion. Please be understanding if you have to wait a few minutes for food, as each chef tries to prepare the best possible bite from every inch of the pig making the food more amazing than any food and wine event around the country. Stick around for the awards and we promise that no guest will leave wanting more.
Everyone is a JUDGE: here are considerations as guest
Cochon 555 [C555] features five CHEF stations on the main competition floor (by rules of the competition, C555 cannot add any food activities beyond to the main floor while chefs are campaigning for your vote). Five chefs will be in service from 5:00-6:30pm plating individually for each guest in line. Each chef’s bite is hoping to earn your vote for “best bite of the day”. At 6:30pm, each guest will need to vote at which point C555 collects the ballots. At 6:35pm we release the second wave of swine. A sixth chef will prepare TWO WHOLE PIGS for family meal (the five chef teams are invited to eat with the guests during family meal). If you want to talk to the chefs and to meet their teams, please utilize this time between 6:30-7:30pm to say hello and explore the preparations of the pigs (during competition, please respect the chef’s time during “service” as plating for 400 guests is extremely challenging – at times, busier than any Saturday night at the restaurant). Right before awards, we serve a family-style dessert course called “Swine & Sweets” and finally – the chefs are called to the stage.
Here are some tips to an enjoyable experience: Don’t arrive late, or leave before 7pm. There’s more than enough meat per person (2.1lbs per guest), so you won’t leave hungry unless you leave early. In the first 30 minutes, all the chefs are getting crushed – don’t stand in the largest line you see, navigate to smaller lines.
Grab your first glass of wine and head to your favorite chef first, while your companion goes to your second favorite chef – grab plates of food for each other. Sweet, you have 2 out of 5 chefs complete. Eat quickly, toss your plates in the trash (don’t worry, they’re biodegradable). Then stop by a wine station while you strategize your next few moves. Grabbing food and looking for a seat is a time killer as there won’t be many seats. Instead, work the chef stations hard for the first hour revolving among the five wineries. Moving around the room is key to enjoying the complete Cochon 555 experience. A guest once told me, “you couldn’t pay me to sit in the first 90 minutes, I can’t miss a thing”.
Watch the front of the lines where chefs are serving, chefs will be looking to provide direction to guests as the best way to get their food. Just because someone started a line doesn’t mean you need to stand in their line. Find solutions. Its a creative floor plan complete with extremely creative and accommodating chefs, event hosts, wineries etc…and everyone wants you to enjoy your experience.
This is not a traditional event: if you are in line, send your companion up to the front to explore the hold up – most times, the chef will hand you something or having food passed to you while you wait. Honestly, poke your head around and look for little pockets of food, most times you will find them. Remember, there are lines at this stand-up tasting receptions, the chefs and production teams have food planned all the way until 7:15pm. Leaving early means you will miss something amazing. If you bought tickets for a friend, please copy and paste this information into an email and send it to them so they can be prepared.
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