Where’s the beef?
Well, it made way for the pork.
On Sunday afternoon in downtown Minneapolis, Twin Cities foodies celebrated the pig in all of its glory at Cochon555.
An event dedicated to all things pork, Cochon555 celebrates heritage pigs and sustainable farming of the animal. The competition featured five chefs, who compete head-to-head creating dishes using a whole heritage breed pig. The focus is on fine dining.
Proceeds from the 14-city event go to Piggy Bank, a charity focusing on sanctuaries for heritage breed pigs and Open Access Agriculture.
Minneapolis’ event featured dishes from Surly Brewing Company’s Jorge Guzman, The Strip Club Meat and Fish’s J.D. Fratzke, The Rabbit Hole’s Thomas Kim, Tullibee’s Grae Nonas and Handsome Hog’s Justin Sutherland.
A panel of expert judges, as well as guests, cast their vote on who created the best dishes. The winner is named the Prince/Princess of Porc.
Fratzke, Kim, Nonas and Sutherland came looking to dethrone Guzman, who won in 2016.
Each created a sampling of dishes corresponding with their restaurant and personality.
Main dishes ranged from pate filled empanadas from Guzman to curry covered sausage from Fratzke to pork dumplings served with tofu from Kim to bacon flavored cotton candy from Sutherland.
Guests were also treated to cheese, charcuterie, crackers and pork appetizers – including a mini doughnut filled with carnitas and rolled in chicharron.
But it was Nonas, with his Scandinavian influenced flavors, who won diners over.
Nonas’ served guests an array of pork prepared with flavors familiar to many Minnesotans, such as rye and herring. His offerings included a pork-blood kolache with smoked sausage, a slice of pork collar dressed with fermented leek and parsley, whipped lardo on a rye cracker with smoked herring roe, and a soup incorporating many parts of the pig.
His massive chicharron tower was also a fan favorite.
Sunday’s event also featured beverages from Punch Kings, who featured punches made with Breckenridge bourbon; Antica Estate wines, the official beverage at the tartare bar; Heritage’s Rum Cart; and manhattans from The Manhattan Project.
Nonas’ win makes him eligible to compete in The Grand Cochon555 competition, which takes place in Chicago in October.