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Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

The mother of all “pig out” festivals was held in Chicago recently, Cochon 555, a celebration of all things wine and swine! Cochon555, started eight years ago to highlight heritage-breed hogs and advocate the local food movement It pits local chefs against one another, challenging them to prepare a dishes from one whole hog. There was so much food and drink to be had! Starting with a “Starter Bar” featuring antipasti from Creminelli Fine Meats, Divina, cheese from Saville Row and bread provided by La Brea Baking Company. This bar was more than just a starter, you could literally make a full meal out of the offerings! Then to quench your thirst, there were three types of punches all created with DRY Sparkling soda paired with various rums.

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

For the event itself, chefs from around the city were tasked with creating dishes using a whole 200 pound Heritage Breed Pig to create and present six different dishes that were tasted and judged. The ultimate winner was Ricardo Jarquin of Travelle, who won for his Adobo Pork Fritters with Salsa Negra and Vegetable Escabeche; Massaman Curry with Peanuts, Fresh Herbs, and Lime; Peruvian Con Chicharron with Crispy Sweet Potato, Salsa Criolla, and Aji Amarillo; Annatto-Braised Pork Butt with Tamal Colado and Habanero Pickles and Pork Rinds; Pork Shank Wonton with Kimchee Tonkotsu Broth, Mayu Oil, and Pickled Honshimeji; and Honey-Glazed Bacon Jam Buns. Whew, it was a big pairing!

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

Some of the highlights of the event that I enjoyed most was the Tiki Bar from the House of Angostura featuring products from the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley; where they had the most beautiful display featuring several rum punches. Pairing various dishes with wines from Napa Valley and Spain, sipping Smoked Old Fashioneds made with Breckenridge Bourbon, Slurping up Ramen from the Ramen Bar from Ronero, Chef Cory Morris’ new spot and the greatest event; the pig butchering competition featuring chefs breaking down a whole hog and then divvying up the portions to be sold to guests with all proceeds to benefit the charity Piggy Bank, an organization dedicated to educating farmers and chefs about heritage pigs and breeding.

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017

Other fun highlights included a booze competition with sommeliers and mixologists going up against their peers. One was called the Punch Kings, a batch cocktail contest, won by Piers Smyth of the Roof on the Wit and Rachel Driver-Spekan of City Winery took home the prize for the Sommelier Smackdown contest; somms who’s pairing went best with the dishes was crowned the winner. Rachel won with her pairing of a red wine from the Negro grape native to the Canary Islands.

Travelle Chef Ricardo Jarquin Crowned Prince of Pork at Cochon555 2017
Article and photos courtesy of guest editor and photographer:

Donna Binbek

 

 

 

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