Supporting the nearly lost art of family farming and raising heritage breed pigs, the Cochon555 US Tour 2017 brings its annual innovative feast to 14 major cities, including Austin, where the culinary festival will set up camp at the Four Seasons Aug. 20.
Five Austin chefs, from Trio, Épicerie Cafe and Grocery, Juniper, East Side King, and LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, will compete in the Cochon555 competition.
Featuring bartenders, chefs, distillers, and other culinary and hospitality talent, the event pays homage to nose-to-tail cooking. Five local chefs will each receive one whole heritage breed pig and have one week to prepare the 200-pound animal for 450-plus guests. Each chef must present a Judge’s Plate of six dishes for the diners and 20 noteworthy judges, who will crown the Prince or Princess of Porc, with the winner moving onto the national finale, Grand Cochon, in the fall. Other highlights will include more than 30 boutique wines from artisanal vintners including The Scholium Project and Silver Oak, and craft and heritage distillers such as Angostura (rum) and Breckenridge Distillery—not to mention dozens of other gastronomic experiences, from a heritage pork ramen bar to a Tiki bar and smoked Old-Fashioneds. A portion of the proceeds goes to Piggy Bank, Cochon555’s sister charity. The event will be preceded by Bespoke, a half-day symposium Aug. 19 featuring some of the food industry’s biggest thinkers. Bespoke Ultra-VIP $400, VIP $200, general admission $125, cochon555.com/2017-tour/austin