Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicago - Cochon 555

Two weekends ago my wife and I made a trip to Chicago for the Cochon 555 event there. As I mentioned in my post on last year's Cochon 555 event in Memphis, the traveling event takes five celebrated area chefs and pairs each with a different breed of heritage pig from a different small, sustainable farm.

We had a friend arrange VIP passes for us to attend the Chicago event, held in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Four Seasons. Since it was a vacation I didn't keep careful notes the way I did in Memphis, and I didn't go out of my way to sample every tasting station once the lines got long. But I still wanted to share a brief photo essay of some of the highlights we experienced.

My favorite presentation was the lunch tray featuring a small, Chicago-style hotdog, empanada, tamale, open-faced head cheese sandwich and tiny Dutch oven of stew.

The pork paella was one of the most intensely satisfying dishes I encountered that evening.

One of the big distractions was the amazing variety of whiskey available for sampling at the event.

The Eagle Rare Manhattans were a highlight of the whiskey selections. I consumed an outrageous quantity of Luxardo cherries.

Like at the Memphis event, there was also an incredible cheese spread for when you had your fill of pork.

Bacon-topped chocolate-covered cheesecake.

This wasn't a vegetarian-friendly event.


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