Each year, after the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, a feast of piggish proportions follows, namely Grand Cochon, a swine showdown that gives the pork entourage the opportunity to stuff as much pig down their gullet as possible. Ten chefs compete in the battle, all of whom have won Cochon competitions -- a nationwide tour that pays homage to heritage breed pigs -- in their respective home cities. And this year's pig-of-war boasts the talents of Jennifer Jasinski, chef-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall and the forthcoming Stoic & Genuine, who won the Colorado Cochon event earlier this spring.
This year's winner-takes-all culinary showdown, which culminates in one of the chefs being named the King or Queen of Porc -- and a four-day wine jaunt to Rioja, Spain's most prominent wine region -- includes, in addition to Jasinski, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia (New York), Jose Mendin of Pubbelly (Miami), Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant (Los Angeles), Dustin Valette of Dry Creek Kitchen (Napa), Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto (Washington D.C.), Mary Dumont of Harvest (Boston), Tim Graham of Travelle (Chicago), Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen (San Francisco) and Douglas Rodriguez of STARR Restaurants.
In addition to more than thirty dishes created from 1,200 pounds of heritage breed pork, guests will be be treated to the Goose Nest, a selection of brews from Goose Island Beer Company; a pop-up butcher shop with a live butchering demonstration by Bill Greenwood from Beano's Cabin (100 percent of the butcher shop proceeds will benefit the volunteering students of Johnson & Wales); a tartare bar featuring Creekstone Farms premium beef; tastings of prosciutto di Parma; a bacon hall of fame showcasing three single-vineyard pinot noirs paired with three award-winning bacons from around the country; a bourbon bar extolling the virtues of Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo; a mescal bar; and a cheese-and-salumi display curated by Cured, in Boulder.
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General admission tickets to Grand Cochon, which takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Hotel Jerome on Sunday, June 22, are $150, and VIP tickets, which grants you early admission, are $200; click here to purchase tickets.