The most dynamic culinary festival in North America is back on the road with its whole-hog cook-off for a cause. Cochon555 brings its 2017 tour – which will hit some 16 cities – to Nashville on February 26, and the festivities will be held in the name of strengthening culinary communities and educating diners and chefs about heritage breed pig farming. The Sunday event will be held within the contemporary surrounds of the Union Station Hotel. From bartenders and distillers to chefs and barkeeps, some of the city’s most celebrated talents will take guests on a journey that’s equally dedicated to safe foodways, delicious-ness, and whole animal utilization. To further champion the good food movement, a portion of all proceeds goes to Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank.
At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition to promote family farming and gastronomic traditions. Five chefs are each given one whole, heritage breed pig and one week to prepare the entire animal (of 200 pounds). Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization, cooking techniques, and overall flavor. A panel of 20 notable judges selects a winner, who will then be crowned Nashville’s “Prince or Princess of Pork.” Running in tandem with the chef face-off are the Somm Smackdown (sommeliers facing off for the best pig/wine match) and Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Distillery (barkeeps battling in whole-bottle competition). The winners of all events will be flown to Chicago to compete in the winner-takes-all finale, Grand Cochon, to be held this year on October 1.
Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes – all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork from family farms – guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery from La Brea; a Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy white Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffled butter, foie gras, and more; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.
Cochon555 events are theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon; The Manhattan Project presented by Poached Jobs; the Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with hand-crafted caramels; and a Heritage Rum Cart. New pours incorporating the historic bitters and luscious rums of Angostura will also be unveiled at the Swizzle Bar. An array of wines grouped under the “5 Winemakers” banner will feature Scholium Project; Pax Wine Cellars; and more. Further tables include Wines of the World, Azzurro Wine Company, and a host of artisanal cider and beer offerings.
The ultimate aim of Cochon555 is to give chefs and consumers something they can sink their teeth into: honest food from real farmers with the goal of a sustainable and profitable relationship for all. Placing the spotlight on heritage breed pigs themselves, each event features a Pop-Up Butcher Demo and Auction, with gifts from Williams-Sonoma and John Boos & Co., which benefits Piggy Bank, a farm devoted to providing free heritage breed pigs to small farms in exchange for transparent business plans that are posted online.
“We’re incredibly excited to come to Nashville during our 2017 tour,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “This event combines education and innovation in support of a return to heritage breed and family farming. The impact is local, but it is also about the future – we want our children to be able to enjoy safer, more honest, and delicious food for years to come,“ continues Lowe. “It’s only a matter of time until people demand better food choices when cooking or eating dinner. And we are standing right there with them, championing transparent foodways and a commitment to what’s local and responsible.”
“As the food scene in Nashville continues to become more and more sophisticated, we are thrilled to see this amazing event make its way to Music City,” said Kate Thompson of Union Station Hotel Director of Sales and Marketing. “Partnering with Cochon555 is an honor and we are beyond excited to welcome these renowned chefs and sommeliers to Union Station Hotel. Such an impressive and decadent event is a perfect fit within the historic walls of the property and we look forward to welcoming our neighbors for the festivities.”
Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE weekend package tickets are $400 (the weekend includes a one-of-a-kind, 5-course dining experience on Sunday, February 18, a collaboration between three of the city’s most celebrated chefs; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity). To purchase tickets, visit the website: http://cochon555.com/2017-tour/nashville/
Where: Union Station Hotel, 1001 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
When: Sunday, February 26, 2017
Time: 4 p.m. for VIP entry, 5 p.m. for General Admission
About the Cochon555 US Tour
The Cochon555 US Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through the world’s first nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually and stages over 60 events. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions including Heritage Fire (live-fire cooking in mountainside and vineyard settings) and Heritage BBQ (global grilling traditions). All Cochon555 events cultivate a long-term impact for heritage species raised by family farms, in top culinary markets in North America. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and 16 culinary schools. Since 2009, 50,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork, more than $500,000 has been donated to charities, and over $750,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. For more details and videos of events, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
About Union Station Hotel Nashville
Located in a ca. 1900 building, the Union Station Hotel Nashville, an Autograph Collection hotel, was reimagined in 2016 following an extensive renovation. Located in the heart of Music City, just steps from the city’s Honky Tonks, Music Row and other famous attractions, Union Station Hotel Nashville offers 125 guest rooms, 11,000 square feet of meeting and event space and distinctive southern hospitality and spirit. To learn more about Union Station Hotel Nashville, please visit www.unionstationnashvillehotel.com.
About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe – founder of the Cochon555 US Tour and Taste Network – Piggy Bank is a pig farming sanctuary. Harboring a Noah’s Ark-worthy selection of heritage breeds, it provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. Piggy Bank aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and benefit from the sharing of genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to not just survive, but to thrive as small businesses. The Piggy Bank farm, located in Missouri, raises pigs to be gifted to communities dedicated to elevating the cause and expanding through a model of social and agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank is a nonprofit corporation with federal tax exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Follow the Piggy Bank conversation on Twitter @PiggyBankOrg. For more information, watch the video http://j.mp/PIGGY_BANK or visit www.piggy-bank.org.