The porkiest feast to hit Denver on an annual basis, Cochon 555, took place yesterday at the Curtis Hotel. Five locals chefs competed for the title of Prince of Porc and an opportunity to represent Denver at the national competition in October. Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly, Burton Koelliker of Osteria Marco, Bill Miner of Il Porcellino, and Darrell Truett of Barolo Grill brought their A game to the hundreds of attendees but it was chef Will Nolan of the Viceroy in Snowmass who was chosen by a combination of the panel of industry judges and the popular public vote.
Aside from the many dishes prepared by the competitors, there were other significant attractions that includes show-stopping creations from the teams from Departure and Rebel and from the team behind the upcoming Julep, rich tables from Creminelli and La Brea Bakery and Cured, and a serious selection of punches and cocktails, wine, and beer, plus great non-alcoholic options like DRY Soda.
After a live somm throwdown that Kelly Wooldridge nailed, a man walked onto the stage with the microphone that was laying on a table and started talking. We're paraphrasing here: Imagine that you walked in here today and found a human carcass laying on a table. It was the best quality human meat possible and we cooked it really well for you. And then I asked you to take a bite of the human meat, which is raised very humanely. What would you think of me? We have some great news. Starting now, we can offer you the best quality human meat and we will start a new festival to promote that: Cochon 666. The microphone was cut off and on walked several protesters wearing blue t-shirts, possibly on behalf of Direct Action Everywhere, holding signs. They were taken to a back staging area and then minutes later escorted out of the building in handcuffs. The show went on, but at the end, prior to announcing the winner, Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe spoke about the importance of supporting farmers and cherishing heritage breeds. Here's that speech in part:
Grand Cochon will take place in Chicago this year and chef Nolan will represent Colorado. Until then, however, Heritage Fire will make a stop in Snowmass and it is definitely worth planning a trip to the mountains around it. Details here: Heritage Fire Snowmass.