Cochon555: The Epic Pork Feast Is Back

Cochon555, the hyper-local festival with a flair for innovation, returns to Miami with its Heritage BBQ edition on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The promotion of global food cultures and family farming will be the central themes of the day.

From winemakers and distillers to barkeeps and chefs, dozens of the city’s biggest hospitality talents will be cooking – or creating drinks to match – Old World barbecue recipes cooked over live fires. To further champion the good food movement, a portion of all proceeds will go to Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank – a pig farming sanctuary.

This year’s Miami lineup features the following chefs:

– Chef Clark Bowen and Chef Rick Mace of db Bistro Moderne & Café Boulud Palm Beach
– Chef Tito Vargas of The Bazaar by José Andrés
– Chef Paula DaSilva of Artisan Beach House
– Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog of gastroPod
– Chef John Gallo and Rene Reyes of Pinch Kitchen

At the heart of all Cochon555 barbecue events lies a culinary competition to promote local family farming and global grilling traditions. The chefs are each given one whole, heritage-breed pig of 200 pounds and one week to prepare the whole animal. Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of six dishes to a panel of 20 notable judges. The panel scores each plate based on utilization; global influences; cooking techniques; and overall flavor in order to select a winner, who will then be crowned the “BBQ Prince/Princess” of Miami.

Expanding the circle of talent, this year will also feature two satellite competitions to complement the original whole-animal tilt. Somm Smackdown pits five of the city’s top sommeliers against one another in a quest to find the best wine/pig match. Punch Kings does the same for five bartenders, challenging them to each put their own twist on the original, historic large-group drinking format: cocktail punch.

Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes – all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork – guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery from La Brea; a Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy white Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Cochon555 events are theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon; The Manhattan Project presented by Poached Jobs; the Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with hand-crafted caramels; and a Heritage Rum Cart. New pours incorporating the historic bitters and luscious rums of Angostura will also be unveiled at the Swizzle Bar. An array of wines grouped under the “5 Winemakers” banner will feature Scholium Project; Pax Wine Cellars; and more. Further tables include Wines of the World, Azzurro Wine Company, and a host of artisanal cider and beer offerings.

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets are $400 (includes a multi-course charity dinner prepared by three celebrity chefs on Saturday night; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity).

To purchase tickets, visit http://www.cochon555.com/2017-tour/miami.

*All photos courtesy of Cochon555.