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One Nation, United By Pork

Salted pork, a staple in the Colonial American diet, has always brought Americans to the table.  Indeed, the alluring smell of bacon can awaken anyone’s appetite, leading to a slightly moistened mouth and lip, and a hunger pain that is hard to ignore.

In early America, fatty pigs were prized for their fatty meat that absorbed salt better than the leaner little piggies.  However, later on Americans developed a fear of fat that lead to the production of pigs with leaner meat, taking away from the full flavor of pork that is rooted in the delectable, fine flavor of fat, itself.

In the fight for fat and flavor, a gathering of people are coming together for the fifth year to call attention to the deliciousness of full-fat heritage pork breeds, introducing them to the public in hope of increasing awareness of how the protection and promotion of these heritage breeds is critical for the gastronomic health of this nation.  The event is also endorsing such important practices as sustainable farming, particularly in the context of family farmers and wineries.  The event will showcase wines that are produced sustainably by family wineries.

This special event will arrive to Colorado this Sunday, March 10th at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail.  The event will be centered upon a culinary competition and tasting event that will include 5 local chefs, 5 heritage pigs, and 5 family wineries, hence the “555” component in the name “Cochon 555.”  The chefs will compete to prepare a menu created entirely from heritage breed pigs for 400 pork connoisseurs and 20 pork-loving judges.  The winning chef will be deemed the Prince or Princess of Pork, a title all of the top-chefs are willing to battle for.

The five participating local, Colorado top chefs include Lon Symensma, Alex Seidel, Kelly Liken, Jason Harrison, and Hosea Rosenberg.  Lou Symensma is the chef and owner of “ChoLon,” the Asian inspired restaurant located in Denver’s historic LoDo district.  Chef Alex Seidel was named the Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine in 2010, and is also the chef of Denver’s “Fruition,” a farm to table restaurant.  One of the country’s most promising female chefs, as well as a star on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Chef Kelly Liken is the chef of the restaurant named simply, “Kelly Liken,” an award-winning restaurant located in Vail.  Jason Harrison of the “Four Seasons Restaurant” in Vail is world renowned, belonging to the Chaine des Rotisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society that was founded in Paris in 1248.  Finally, last but not least, Hosea Rosenberg was the Bravo TV’s Top Chef winner of Season 5, and is also the chef behind “Blackbelly Catering” in Boulder, Colorado.

For a day of nose-to-tail cooking, education on breed diversity, and a window into family farming, Cochon 555 offers an education by way of your senses, particularly your sense of taste.  After all, real sustainability is found in food that is produced responsibly and that just simply tastes better.  Just as it has been done before in our nation’s history, the taste of full-fat pork might just unite us all yet again under this great nation we call America, bringing us together at the table with bibs around our necks, and forks and knives in hand.

For more information on Cochon 555, check out their website or watch this introductory video here.