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Cochon 555 Returns to the Twin Cities

Pork, wine and killer cocktails are just around the corner.

Cochon555 lands in Minneapolis February 19.
Zoe Francois

The Cochon555 Tour will make a stop in Minneapolis for the third time on Sunday, February 19. Cochon555 is an epic culinary competition focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs. While the heart of Cochon555 is undoubtedly the whole-animal cooking competition which pits five local chefs against each other for the humble title of Prince of Porc, there are other tantalizing experiences to be had as a part of this year’s event.

BESPOKE Dinner

The night before the main event, on Saturday, February 18, Spoon and Stable will host BESPOKE: An Evening of Culinary Modernity, featuring “2015 King of Pork” Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and “2016 Prince of Pork” Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Co. The dinner’s theme is “Culinary Modernity” and will feature individual courses by the previous winners, as well as a final, collaborating course in which all the chefs will cook a “family-style course representative of what they believe to be modernity,” according to Cochon555. The $125 price tag includes wine pairings of German wines, a pre-dinner cocktail reception and a pastry course by Diane Yang, which would frankly be worth the price of admission on its own. The dessert course will feature Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Brie Roland, Erin Rolek and Nick Rancone at the Somm Smackdown in 2016
Galdones Photography for Cochon555

Somm Smackdown

Five local sommeliers compete in The Somm Smackdown during the main event on February 19, to see who can best pair pork and wine. Competing this year are Erica Rokke of Zipps, Dani Megears of Heyday, Erin Rolek of The Bachelor Farmer, Jill Mott of Jill Mott Selections and Laurie Hefner of Corner Table.

The Minneapolis punch kinds of 2016.
Galdones Photography for Cochon 555

Punch Kings

Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Five top bartenders will be making the best punch of their lives in this competition for the title of Punch King or Queen. Competitors are Jon Olson of Esker Grove, Travis Serbus of Lyn65 Kitchen & Bar, Joseph Pirri of Handsome Hog, Alice Brandt of Tattersall and Nate McLemore-Raczkowski of Revival. The punchy competition takes place during the main event on February 19.

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