Cochon 555 is the ultimate pork experience. On May 23 fervent swine enthusiasts gathered in Seattle for the ultimate showdown. I was lucky enough to be sponsored as an official correspondent for all things pig by FoodBuzz. I arrived ready to eat and imbibe in some local wines. Armed with stories from the famous incident the previous week at Portland’s Cochon555, we were curious to see what would happen at the Seattle stop of the tour.
John Sundstrom of Lark cooked using a Berkshire Heritage Pig from Newman Farms, Missouri. John’s food was definitely the winner among attendees and the judges, crowning him the “King of Pork” of Seattle. Unfortunately their table ran out of the food early in the evening thus I missed sampling their food. The most favored bite from Lark was a pork belly tarte tatin with soy-ginger caramel & pineapple. My understanding from other attendees, Sundstrom’s food was the most creative with complexity of flavor notes.
The runner up and my personal favorite for the evening were the offerings from Chester Gerl of Matt’s in the Market. Chester cooked up a variety of delights using a Red Wattle Heritage pig from Lazy S Farm, Kansas. The best bite of the evening for me, was a Mexican inspired concoction using braised pork belly & shoulder, avocado, cilantro on a chip, similar to a tostada. Their posole was also my favorite rendition, topped with porkcorn.
A close tie for me was Adam Stevenson from Earth & Ocean cooking up a Berkshire/Duroc from Tails & Trotters and Tamara Murphy Productions utilizing a Tamworth variety from Metzger Farms, Kansas. Sporting special “piggy” t-shirts, Tamara Murphy’s standouts included a bacon brittle & a savory interpretation of an ice cream sammy. Stevenson’s bacon ice cream had me going for seconds, the right proportion of bacon and sweet.
Our local representation came from Wooly Pigs, prepared by Anthony Hubbard of Chow Foods. Their offerings were my least favorite of the evening, although some seemed to enjoy their rich red velvet cup cake with a whipped “lard” frosting.
A variety of local wines including Buty Winery, Long Shadows Wineries, Elk Cove Vinyards, McCrea Cellars and Fidelitas Wines. I enjoyed the wines most from Buty & Long Shadows. Although trying to pair specific wines with the different pork dishes proved to be a bit complicated.
I enjoyed this event, however I believe there could have been a bit better planning & execution on several accounts. Also, was the event worth the hefty $125 price tag? No. I particularly enjoyed the demonstration of the whole pig break down from 4505 Meats. Sadly I missed the raffle of the pig parts since I was sans business cards this particular evening. So was I porked out after indulging all that the evening offered? Absolutely not!