Last year was the first time that Cochon 555, the national pork competition that promotes ethical, heritage breed pig farming, stopped in Minneapolis. We paid them back by winning the whole shebang. In its inaugural year, Thomas Boemer and his team from Corner Table dazzled the judges both here in Minneapolis and at the national finals with his deft ways of pig cookery. (Next time you're in the restaurant, ask him to wear the crown. He loves that.)
The question is, can we bring this title home two years in a row? Today the lineup of competing chefs was announced and it's a doozy of a chef showing. This year's chefs include John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya, Christopher Nye of Spoon and Stable, Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Company/Brewers Table, Carrie Summer & Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack Ranch and James Winberg, Mike Brown & Bob Gerken of Travail Kitchen & Amusements. Will Ng treat us all with an all ramen-palooza tasting? Can Spoon & Stable give us more ofc that pig head ssam? Is it time for the all Surly reign to contine its winning streak? Could the Travailians chip and dip sombrero count as a competitor? Will Chef Shack drive the title home in Big Bertha? (Could there be porky mini donuts? Be still our cholesterol-laden hearts.)
We will find out on Sunday, February 21 at Lowes Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. In addition to sampling (and voting on) the competing dishes, attendees will be treated to a ramen stop, pie shop, and onsite butcher shop. Drinkwise, there's the Punch Kings competition, plenty of bourbon, tequila, a tiki bar and a sommelier smackdown. No one is going thirsty at this thing.Click on over here for the full rundown. Tickets are $130 and on sale now.
Plus, there are special dinners hosted by Boemer leading up to the event that will act as fundraisers for Piggy Bank, a nonprofit whose mission is 'to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms.