Grand Cochon: The Culinary Weekend Changing the Way We See — And Eat — Pig

[Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post.]

On June 18, Aspen, Colo., is turning into a pig lover’s paradise with the epic conclusion to the 2016 Cochon555 Tour: Grand Cochon, held at Viceroy Snowmass. Celebrated as the world’s first environmentally conscious, porcine culinary cook-off, Cochon555 is a 10-city tour of competitions across the nation, where the winning chefs from each city are crowned the Princes and Princesses of Porc. At Grand Cochon, they are sharpening their knives for the “King or Queen of Porc” throne.

Still, there is more to Grand Cochon than the 1,200 pounds of pig that will be served to a discerning crowd of 20 celebrity chefs and 400 hungry mouths. Grand Cochon is more than a live event and exciting cooking contest. Its mission is to raise awareness for the responsible farming of heritage breed pigs through a merry celebration of drinking and dining. Cochon555 drives the conversation and education of local and exceptional ingredients, empowering chefs and consumers everywhere — especially because the competing chefs are using all of their pigs, nose-to-tail.

“Grand Cochon is the type of event where you can see communities all over the country working for the same thing: safer, more flavorful food,” Brady Lowe, Cochon555 founder and CEO, said. “I am inspired to see how much love and energy [from the] chefs go into protecting good people raising food the safe and honest way. We have a long way to go in our food system, but these chefs using their kitchens to amplify the conversation…[is] an all-around experience.”

Each of the 10 competing chefs are assigned a different heritage breed pig raised by small family farms. More than 30 unique dishes (Lowe has seen everything from pigs and clams to porky ice cream bars) will tantalize tastebuds at Grand Cochon, but the most satisfying part is knowing that responsible farming is being brought to the forefront.

“I couldn’t be more honored to be working with such a stunning and diverse lineup of chefs. It really is a huge opportunity to see such a cross-section of New-American-source-driven cuisine all working together, cooking heritage breed pigs. The food is going to be sick,” he said.

Meet the 2016 Competing Chefs:

Already planning on attending Grand Cochon? Make it an even grander food weekend by joining Cochon555's Heritage Fire on June 16, where 3,500 pounds of responsibly-raised, local meats will be prepared over live fires by more than 50 of the best chefs and butchers. Grand Cochon and Heritage Fire will go towards promoting Piggy Bank, which aims to give 6,000 pigs a year to family farms that have the same sustainable mission.

The entire Cochon555 weekend is occurring the same time as The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, both events just minutes away from each other with round-the-clock shuttles in between. So, buy your tickets and dig into the ultimate quest for flavor.

“Get there on time, come hungry and try everything. This is a food lover’s event. ...We take food seriously, and so do these chefs,” Lowe said. “Someday, it will ring home for everyone that safe food is our future. Each year we get better at what we do and we can’t wait to hear feedback so we can improve and redefine ourselves to meet the crowds who support us.”