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Matt Vawter of Mercantile Crowned Prince of Porc at Cochon 555

Here's what happened at the rocking porky feast that took place at the Ritz-Carlton.

Last night, Cochon 555 crowned a new Prince of Porc in Denver, chef Matt Vawter of Mercantile Dining and Provision. The other four participating chefs were Kelly Whitaker of Basta and Cart Driver, Rich Byers of the Corner Office, Chris Thompson of the Nickel, and John Little of Harman's Eat + Drink.

Highlights:

  • Attendants included the who's who of Denver's culinary world and beyond from chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja and chef Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly Market to Christiano Creminelli of Cremielli charcuterie and butcher Michael (the Reverend) Sullivan of Blackberry Farm.
  • A butchery demonstration was led by Kate Kavanaugh and Josh Curtiss, the duo behind Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe. The meat was neatly displayed for guests to purchase. All proceeds from the meat sales were donated to the Johnson & Wales culinary program.
  • There were babies - being carried on the back or front of their respective parents. Chef Jorel Pierce of Stoic & Genuine brought four month old daughter Carly and chef Daniel Asher of RootDown/Linger brought his little boy who is now almost two.
  • Cocktails made with brown spirits were the highlight of the beverage selection. Denver's best bartenders, including Kevin Burke of Ste. Ellie and Colt & Gray, Stuart Jensen of Mercantile Dining & Provision, and Alex Lerman of the Green Russell.
  • Among the best bites: chef Vawter's Valhorna blood pot de creme, chef Thompson's porchetta ramen, chef Byers' bibimbap, the belly fritter from chef Whitaker, and the foie gras Johnny cakes from chef John Little.

  • Next stop: Chef Matt Vawter will compete alongside nine other chefs (winners of Cochon 555 in their respective cities) in Grand Cochon on Sunday, June 21 following the Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic.