Cochon555 Miami: Five Porc Trends, Five Porc Dishes, Five Reasons to Go

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

Five chefs, five heritage breed pigs, five winemakers, over 36 dishes, and one night of a whole ‘lotta porc.

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably squealing like a pig from excitement now that Cochon555 Miami is around the corner. To get ready for the big night, here are five Miami chefs dishing out on how they enjoy pigging out.


The 5-5-5 List

YELP | Bacon wrapped dates, Diana R. 

YELP | Bacon wrapped dates, Diana R. 

Timon Balloo, Executive Chef/Partner of SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill

Is there a current porc trend you want to explore? 

TB: I’m currently seeing the continued use of porc in house charcuterie programs in many places.

Any two cents on porc as an ingredient?

TB: I think it’s the primary protein in many cultures due to how easy it is to sustain and be produced. I would like to see the masses more open to the non-traditional cuts, such as the tail, trotter, and ears.

Name your restaurant’s best porc dish — and go!

TB: The most ordered dish would be the house-blended Linguça sausage used to stuff the bacon wrapped dates. One of my favorite dishes would be the crispy BBQ ears.

Thoughts on the upcoming Cochon555 Miami?

TB: I love and support the event! Brady does a great job highlighting the heritage breeds of porc and the people behind the hard work that goes into raising the animal.

What do you think is the event’s most important takeaway?

TB: A higher sense of awareness of where the product comes from and the integrity of the product being used.


YELP | Fried porc eggs Benedict,  Gus M.

YELP | Fried porc eggs Benedict,  Gus M.

Cesar Zapata, Chef/Owner of The Federal

Is there a current porc trend you want to explore?

CZ: Sausage making, wood-cooked whole hog, and specialty hams.

Any two cents on porc as an ingredient?

CZ: I love porc so much that I even have a pet pig!

Name your restaurant’s best porc dish — and go!

CZ: Dr. Pepper-braised porc cheeks, with roasted plantains, pickled-grilled pineapple and mole poblano sauce. We use heritage breed hog, braise them for four hours in Dr. Pepper, poblano peppers, pasilla, ancho chile, chipotles and all kinds of aromatics and spices.

Thoughts on the upcoming Cochon555 Miami?

CZ: Cochon555 is an environmentally-conscious, nose-to-tail pig competition that raises awareness for the responsible farming of heritage breed pigs through eating and drinking. Cochon has donated over $100,000 to local charities.

What do you think is the event’s most important takeaway?

CZ: Cochon brings awareness, creates a movement, and brings chefs and farmers together for a great cause.


YELP | Jamaican jerk bacon, Yohermo E. 

YELP | Jamaican jerk bacon, Yohermo E. 

Julia Doyne, Executive Chef of The Forge

Is there a current porc trend you want to explore?

JD: I think braising porc shoulder, smoking porc products, and homemade sausages are trends that will never die. I’m interested in using those methods with different flavors other than the traditional BBQ or Asian styles.

Any two cents on porc as an ingredient?

JD: Porc is a great ingredient. It’s versatile. You have so many cuts to pick from and it’s economical.

Name your restaurant’s best porc dish — and go!

JD: Our best dish that incorporates porc is the Jamaican jerk bacon.

Thoughts on the upcoming Cochon555 Miami?

JD: Cochon555 is really cool. It’s a great way to see different chefs and the abundance of dishes that can come from porc.

What do you think is the event’s most important takeaway?

JD: It educates the general public on food, and porc lovers can learn more ways and be excited about eating more than normal. I’m excited to see their creativity this year!


YELP | Porc belly, yucca, mango chimichurri, Karl W.

YELP | Porc belly, yucca, mango chimichurri, Karl W.

Blair Wilson, Executive Chef of The Social Club and High Tide at Surfcomber

Is there a current porc trend you want to explore?

BW: I’m really exploring the lesser cuts of heritage breeds, such as the Red Ossabaw breed with cuts like the “secreto,” and flat iron steak.

Any two cents on porc as an ingredient?

BW: It’s not all about fat. Some of the leaner cuts can have just as much flavor and intensity, especially with heritage breeds.

Name your restaurant’s best porc dish — and go!

BW: Ninety-six-hour spare ribs, sugarcane brine, sesame-sorghum glaze, and jicama slaw.

Thoughts on the upcoming Cochon555 Miami?

BW: Really excited. They’ve chosen a really talented group of chefs that’ll be sure to blow some minds and palates.

What do you think is the event’s most important takeaway?

BW: Awareness. Really bringing to the forefront the lesser known breeds, cuts, and techniques. Porc is so much more than bacon and chops.


YELP | Country-style porc ribs, Vee V.

YELP | Country-style porc ribs, Vee V.

Phil Bryant, Executive Chef of The Local Craft Food & Drink

Is there a current porc trend you want to explore?

PB: I’m really missing BBQ. There’s just something so therapeutic about the process, and it makes me feel connected to something bigger. I truly feel that Southern BBQ is America’s most unique culinary contribution.

Any two cents on porc as an ingredient?

PB: Honestly, I love the slow and low aspect of cooking with porc. Whole hog BBQ takes mastery and patience that you can taste in every bite. Porc is big down here for the holidays and special occasions, so it forms a huge food memory of good times with loved ones. I guess my two cents are: Do yourself a favor and take your time with the preparation. It’ll be worth it.

Name your restaurant’s best porc dish — and go!

PB: My “macaroni” dish. When people read the description, they assume it’s going to be this gut-buster — a pasta dish with pulled porc! People have preconceived notions about porc being this heavy and commanding ingredient...but I make a small plate of locally-sourced bucatini with broccolini and a parmesan gravy, and top it with confit porc. I love how delicate it is. I really worked on balancing the flavors and it always takes people by surprise.

Thoughts on the upcoming Cochon 555 Miami?

PB: I just love that a competition of this prestige comes down to Miami and includes us. I think it really speaks volumes of how we are all succeeding in changing the country's views on our culinary scene. We work hard to show people that Miami has something to offer the food world, and we’ve come a long way in the last five to 10 years.

What do you think is the event’s most important takeaway?

PB: For me, it's the 100 percent use of heritage breeds, and putting an emphasis on snout-to-tail cooking. With the state of this country’s meat industry right now, we need to start pushing people to view the beauty and value of these heritage breeds.  It's our job as chefs and culinary professionals to educate the mainstream on why this is important. No waste equals creativity at its finest.