"Porkapalooza" Cochon 555 Returns

Butcher competition at the 2011 Cochon 555
Butcher competition at the 2011 Cochon 555
Anne Fishbein

Just when you'd managed to expunge -- via marathons and wheatgrass-and-spinach elixirs -- the last traces of Wilbur from your digestive tract, the Cochon 555 roadshow is back for another round. This time, five local chefs, five heritage hogs and five winemakers will tangle at the House of Blues on Sunday, May 6; and once again just one chef will be selected, by the judges and gathered swineaholics, to go on to the national competition.

According to the Cochon 555 folks, more than 1,200 pounds of pork will be served. Depending on your experience at last year's fest -- a carnival of sweaty, gluttonous overkill -- you're either salivating or hitting the back button on your browser.

Curiously, a few of the chefs gracing last year's Cochon 555 -- Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station and winner Chad Colby of Mozza -- are returning for this installment, joining Neal Fraser and Travis Lorton, co-owners of the Strand House, Grace & BLT, Jason Neroni of Superba Snack Bar, and Micah Wexler of Mezze. With those familiar faces trumping a complete influx of new blood, at least you can count on the pigs being different.

While the event is about pig (and pigging out), there's quite a bit of drinking that happens at Cochon 555. Last year, some of the flushed faces and slumped bodies might have been blamed as easily on the cocktails as on the overeating. This year, look for family wineries, including Turley, Matthiasson, Scholium Project, K Vintners and Buty. Other options will include Anchor Brewing Co. beers, tastings of Chinaco tequilas and a bar serving an assortment of small-batch American whiskeys and bourbons.

If you want to attend the VIP opening (an hour head-start on the other gobblers), you're forking over $200. Regular admission is $125 per person. Click on for tickets.

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