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The Porkiest Pork Fest In Town: Cochon555

This Sunday you can sample dishes from 5 local chefs who will compete for the title of "Prince of Porc"


Photo by Cochon555's Facebook page

Ready to pig out? Cochon555 at the Loews Hotel is going to be the place to be on Sunday night. So many top chefs will be there: 5 will compete for the title of "Prince of Porc." Fresh off being named a James Beard Award semifinalist, Jorge Guzman will defend his title. I'm told his team from Surly Brewing Co. will be showcasing Spanish flavors with their Large Black hog from Lucky George Farm. 200 pounds of pork showed up at Surly this week—his chef de cuisine at the Brewers Table told me they used everything, and there's just one pound of waste. Wow.

Also competing: Thomas Kim's team from The Rabbit Hole (same hog type as Jorge), J.D. Fratzke from The Strip Club (Hidden Stream Farm's Duroc Yorkshire), Grae Nonas from Tullibee is new to the contest with a Yker Acres Black Tamworth Cross hog, and Justin Sutherland is also new from Handsome Hog with an Old Spot hog from SpringWolf Farms.

Each chef has to create six dishes for more than 450 people. It's a crazy party with terrific wines, cocktails, and some of the most fun chefs in town roaming the room. The purpose of Cochon555 is to spread awareness for heritage breed pigs, and celebrate nose-to-tail pig cooking. There's a non-profit component, too—the Cochon555 charity "Piggy Bank" is trying to get more farmers to raise heritage breeds. It provides free genetics and shared business plans to emerging family farms. Cochon's founder Brady Lowe is creating a farm in Missouri to raise those pigs and then give them to different communities.

It starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 19, tickets are $125. (It's well worth it. You'll have more food and wine than you'll know what to do with.) You can go VIP for $200 and enter at 4 p.m. with exclusive cocktail competition and sommelier tastings as well.

Loews Hotel
601 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

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