After Cochon 555 2011, we surrendered. Fattened up like one of the hogs that the crowds of attendees had, locustlike, swirled around, oily-faced and intoxicated, we swore off the thing. We were almost politically opposed to the maniacal level of indulgence that the event seemed to encourage. This year, we're ready for another shot at the lard-soaked affair, promising our conscience we'll have just a few fewer bourbons and perhaps graze more selectively than on previous excursions into the porky paradise.
The competing chefs -- Joshua Whigham (the Bazaar), Gavin Lansdale (Ford's Filling Station), Ray Garcia (FIG Restaurant), Jet Tila (the Charleston), and
Sean Dent (House of Blues) -- will have their way with five heritage-breed pigs. Chris Fuller of Alleghany Meats and Christian Page of Short Order will cook another pig for the post-contest "family meal."
Wineries -- Greg Linn, Paul Matthews, Elk Cove Vineyards, SIMI Winery, Robert Kacher Selections, Colección Internacional del Vino and Vibrant Rioja -- will pour their products. You'll be able to snap up tastings by Taza Chocolate. You'll spot bonus glugs from Anchor Brewing, Crispin Ciders and Pig's Nose Scotch. You'll sample half a dozen small-batch bourbons. You'll swing by the mezcal bar. You'll hit the cheese bar. Because what accompanies pounds of pork and pints of booze better than slabs of triple-crème?
You'll also be lucky to fit in the car for the drive home -- something you honestly probably shouldn't bother doing if you're going to enjoy this event to the fullest. Even if you abstain from alcohol, the smoke, grease, crowd noise and "foodie" horde madness may encourage some erratic steering.
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. Check the website for tickets. If you're insane enough for the Cinco de Mayo post-party, you'll owe a few more ducats.