Epic Culinary Competition Cochon 555 Shares Its 2016 Tour Dates and Cities

Cochon555_05The most talked about culinary tour in North America is back on the road in 2016 with a bigger mission, more chefs and new ways to participate in the creation of a better, safer food system. Events will celebrate conservation through consumption with consumer-friendly culinary tastings featuring more than 50,000 pounds of heritage pork raised by family farms and served to 16,000 guests along a 18-city tour. Upping its commitment to the good food movement, this year’s tour will benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary for heritage breed pigs that will provide free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. The tour is dedicated to helping Piggy Bank create the first open-source agriculture platform for heritage species while raising global awareness for socially responsible farming. For an in-depth look, visit www.cochon555.com for a series of videos highlighting the distinguished events and the Cochon555 movement.

Cochon555, the signature culinary competition featuring five chefs cooking five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause kicks off its 8th Annual Tour in New York City on January 24, 2016. The event unites consumers with local farmers, renowned chefs, prominent winemakers, restaurateurs, craft brewers and distillers in each city for a nose-to-tail culinary showdown celebrating family farms. At each event, 500 guests including notable judges will vote for the best bite amongst 2,000 pounds of awesomeness and the winning chef will be announced the “Princess or Prince of Porc”. On June 18th, the ten regional winners of Cochon555 fly to Aspen/Snowmass to compete at Grand Cochon, a spotlight of 10 chefs, 10 pigs and the best 30 bites from tour. The winner of the grand finale walks away with the crown and title of “2016 King or Queen of Porc”. In addition to Grand Cochon, Heritage Fire Snowmass, has quickly become one of the best events offered on the same weekend as the Classic in Aspen. In late-August, Heritage Fire, the prestigious live-fire cooking event arrives in Napa. In September, Heritage BBQ tours 5 cities in North America showcasing old-world traditions, global BBQ and celebrated cultures. The annual calendar is packed with a dedication to supporting family farms while cultivating a safer food system for our youth.

Cochon555_01“This will be the most incredible year ever as we have one goal, to change the future of our food. It feels like a serendipitous crossroads of culinary passions, from the creation of our 20-city US Tour dedicated to family farming to launching a foundation called Piggy Bank. The Cochon555 Tour is now a movement, from hosting celebrated culinary events all over North America and reaching a global audience with the first open-source agricultural model dedicated to helping farmers succeed,” stated founder Brady Lowe. “This doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, and for the first time in human history, a culinary tour has emerged to save endangered species on a global scale,” Lowe added. “Every single bite and sip that guests enjoy at our events will benefit the good food movement and help correct our failing food system. After eight years, this promises to be the best tasting tour yet, and we can’t wait to hit the road again.”

Guests will experience a one-of-a-kind epic feast. Events are filled with notable chefs cooking the best ingredients raised safely, honestly and sustainably. In addition to the 2,000 pounds of pig, the all-inclusive ticket includes strategically planned culinary “pop-up” experiences every 20 minutes throughout the evening including a new Ramen Shop paired with Wines of Germany, the lovely TIKI Isle (Caribbean-inspired libations), the Luxury Butter Bar (milk butters, truffle salt and artisan bread), a Pop-Up Butcher Shop raising money for Piggy Bank and the decadent dessert course called Swine & Sweets. In addition to the Five Winemaker spotlight, guests will enjoy the Welcome Punch Reception, an Artisan Cheese Bar featuring six notable cheesemakers, a brand new “Vermouth Experience,”  a TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms and a “Seafood Shelf” featuring oysters and shrimp. The culinary cocktail program is stepping up with a “Perfect Margarita Experience”, the “Perfect Manhattan Bar” returns, Mezcal Expressions featuring hand-crafted mezcals and the Smoked Old Fashioned featuring Breckenridge Bourbon. Additionally, Punch Kings will return in 2016 with top barkeeps at participating during Cochon555’s Signature Punch Bowl Competition. A portion of all event proceeds will also benefit the Piggy Bank initiative to support local farms.

Cochon555_04Each flavor-studded weekend will include a pair of guest chef dinners to benefit Piggy Bank. These unique dinners bring together chefs, world-renowned winemakers and beverage experts to create a multi-course, interactive dining experience where guests have the rare opportunity to interact with the participating chefs. Each city tour will kick off on Friday with the Late Night Asian Speakeasy, which is an all-inclusive feast paying homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese after-hour establishments known to inspire great chefs and menus across the country. On Saturday, a refined three-hour culinary experience, the Chef’s Course Dinner begins with a reception featuring a selection of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated dinner. Both dinners will be limited to only 40 tickets this year, with tickets going on sale December 21st, they will be available online at $125 per person and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank.

Founder Brady Lowe has a long-term commitment to making Piggy Bank the charity recipient of the tour moving forward. The Cochon555 tour will find 275 donors each year to help fuel the movement in addition to hosting dinners and other activities. Piggy Bank seeks to build a future for family farming with the goal of changing the future of food and promoting long-term farming sustainability.  Piggy Bank will raise heritage breed pigs to be gifted to new farmers and culinary schools, assist new family farms with herd development and help existing farms challenged by disaster.  For more details about Piggy Bank, please visit www.Piggy-Bank.org, or follow @piggybankorg on Twitter.

Cochon555_03The 2016 COCHON555 Tour schedule includes:

COCHON555 – NEW YORK – SUNDAY, JAN. 24
COCHON555 – MIAMI – SUNDAY, JAN. 31
COCHON555 – MINNEAPOLIS – SUNDAY, FEB. 21
COCHON555 HOUSTON – SUNDAY, FEB 28
COCHON555 – DENVER – SUNDAY, MAR. 6
COCHON555 – LOS ANGELES – SUNDAY, MAR. 13
COCHON555 – SAN FRANCISCO – SUNDAY, APR. 3
COCHON555 – SEATTLE – SUNDAY, APR. 10
COCHON555 – WASHINGTON DC – SUNDAY, APR. 17
COCHON555 – CHICAGO – SUNDAY, APR. 24
GRAND COCHON – ASPEN – SATURDAY, JUN. 18
HERITAGE FIRE – SNOWMASS – THURSDAY, JUN. 16
HERITAGE FIRE – NAPA – SUNDAY, AUG. 21

HERITAGE BBQ – CHICAGO – SUNDAY, SEPT. 11
HERITAGE BBQ – TORONTO – FRIDAY, SEPT. 16
HERITAGE BBQ – WASHINGTON DC – SUNDAY, SEPT. 24
HERITAGE BBQ – AUSTIN – SUNDAY, OCT. 9
HERITAGE BBQ – SAN FRANCISCO – SUNDAY, OCT. 16

About Cochon555 US Tour
The Cochon555 US Tour, executes a variety of unique, local food events that are focused on raising enthusiasm for supporting family farms with the world’s first environmentally conscious nose-to-tail pig competition. The flagship Cochon555 event is celebrated as the world’s first environmentally conscious nose-to-tail pig competition. Created in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breed pigs, this epic pork feast visits major cities in North America annually. The tour also features a multitude of live-event expressions including Heritage BBQ (global cultures), Heritage Fire (live-fire event), EPIC Cochon (hyper-premium), and Cochon Island (agri-tourism). All Cochon events cultivate a long-term impact for heritage species raised by family farms, reaching the top culinary markets in North America while promoting our sponsor’s message to 16,000 guests by drawing from the biggest names in the hospitality industry, including 2,200+ chefs, 150+ family farms and 16 culinary schools. Since 2009, 50,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork for the first time, more than $500,000 has been donated to charities and over $750,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. Together with winemakers, brewers, distillers and craft food makers they create authentic culinary events celebrating champions in the good food movement. For more details about the events, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe, founder of the Cochon555 US Tour / Taste Network LLC, Piggy Bank is focused on building a sanctuary for heritage breed pigs enabling responsible solutions for emerging farmers and social communities. Piggy Bank is made up of 275 founding members who collectively believe in a movement, a vision and a set of values rooted in the socially-responsible farming. The sanctuary will change the future of food by uniting a community working together for safer, responsible farming practices and sharing of genetics. Join the Piggy Bank conversation by following @PiggyBankOrg and @Cochon555 on Twitter. Piggy Bank is dedicated to providing the first Open Source agriculture platform for responsible family farmers preserving heritage species. Piggy Bank is a project of The Giving Back Fund, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation with federal tax exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3).
All images courtesy of Cochon555 / Flicker
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