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Cochon555 Tour 2017: NYC Kick-Off Event

Earthpeople!
Cochon555 Tour 2017: NYC Kick-Off Event

Cochon555 kicked off in New York City on Sunday. I’m no stranger to the magical animal that makes both ham and bacon, but I was constantly surprised by the level of innovative cooking that me and my arteries witnessed.

Competing chefs included Chef Nicole Gajadhar of Saxon + ParoleChef Ryan Bartlow of Quality EatsChef Greg Baxtrom of OlmstedChef Aaron Hoskins of Birds & Bubblesand Chef Chris Szyjka of Chefs Club by Food & Wine. Each put a unique spin on their heritage breed hogs – but Nicole’s dishes won the day.

She was given a Large Black – a breed native to England (by way of China.) She created dish after dish that highlighted her pig’s distinct flavor profiles. Her winning menu was comprised of six dishes: the Bloody Sunday with blood noodles, salt-cured & smoked loin, coconut broth and crispy head; L.E.S. Egg Roll with pork shoulder pastrami, black garlic, ginger cabbage, cilantro and a tamarind sauce; Into the Woods & Out to Sea with smoked-brined butt, mushroom and truffle whipped lardo, uni and smoked trout roe; Belly Full of Goodness with belly and liver mousse, Fuji apple bourbon jelly, smoked pignolia and a black ‘piggie’ pretzel; Let That Tutu Twirl, a cotton candy with pork dust and blood macaron chocolate-caramel jowl ganache; and Porctail with a pork mist, mescal, aji dulce, chicharron, yellow pepper and bergamot.
I didn’t expect to ever hold pork cotton candy on a stick, and when I did I was only surprised that this had never happened before. Everything about the dish made sense. The flavors held together, but it was also perfect for the setting. Imagine a room with 600+ people all stuffing their faces with food and drinks while Public Enemy’s DJ Lord worked a turntable and Kool Keith mingled with the crowd. If I didn’t have pictures I would have assumed it was all a dream. By the time I was eating cotton candy and pork dust it seemed like the dish was an inevitable occurrence.

Even better, this is only the first stop in a nation-wide tour of hog-cookery. Next up is Minneapolis, Minnesota. I can only imagine what I’ll be eating.

Jack Hott

Jack Hott has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. Along the way he’s flipped burgers, tossed pizzas and spilled a lot of wine on white table cloths.

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