Goose Island Beer Company welcomed hundreds of guests to The Four Seasons Hotel and Cochon 555 this past Sunday afternoon. Cochon 555 is a tour that celebrates the sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Five chefs, Five pig breeds, Five wineries.Â A cooking competition between five local chefs was the centerpiece of the event, but there were plenty of other activities and stations to check out.
My wife and I started with the Goose Island “Goose Nest” where the brewery paired two of its vintage ales with Foie Gras and other Duck items. But the rest of the event was focused on the pigs. Chefs Aaron Brooks, Conor Hanlon, Bradley Herron, Dena Marino and Jose Mendin each made five or six dishes for the guests to try. They were scattered throughout the banquet hall with other areas of interest to visit in between.
One of my personal favorites was “The Perfect Manhattan” station which was serving up terrific cocktails made with Templeton Rye and a few other terrific bourbons. There was a “Pop-Up Butcher Shop” where one of the pigs was butchered in a demonstration benefiting Johnson & Wales University. The butchered pig was sold on the spot. Oh yeah, and before the pig was cut up, the dudes from Miami Ink tattooed it with a Cochon 555 themed piece of art!
A cocktail competition called Punch Kings was another very popular spot. Five drinks using Breckenridge Bourbon were created for everyone to try. There were cheese stations, oysters, killer Prosciutto by Prosciutto di Parma, and several wineries. I did not miss the opportunity to sip on some Four Roses Bourbon either.
In the end, Chef Jose Mendin from Pub Belly prevailed as the winning “Prince of Porc!”
Great event! Can’t wait for next year.