It looks like Stephanie Izard and Mike Sheerin really like getting creative with whole heritage hogs because both chefs are returning for another shot at the title of prince or princess of porc at Cochon 555. They lost out to then Mercat a la Planxa chef Michael Fiorello in 2011 when the annual porcine competition took place at the Blackstone Hotel, but this year on April 29 when Cochon 555 hits the Four Seasons (yes, the Four Seasons! Imagine all that pig in those fancy digs!) they'll go up against three new chefs.
This year's lineup includes Carlos Gaytan (Mexique), recent Food & Wine best new chef honoree Danny Grant (RIA) and Jason Vincent (Nightwood), who actually prepared two hogs at last year's event as an added bonus for the hungry masses (a new version of the Hunger Games, perhaps?). Tickets for the event, which begins at 4 p.m. this year for VIPs and at 5 for GA, are on sale now and start at $125.
In addition to all the pig you could eat (isn't that what's going down at Baconfest this weekend?!), you get to wash it down with some tasty libations, including wines from the likes of Elk Cove and Sokol Blosser. A bar set up for the "perfect Manhattan" with Daniel Hyatt of the Alembic in San Francisco, will have five American craft spirits including Eagle Rare, Angel's Envy, Buffalo Trace and Templeton Rye. Last, the evening will include a 25th anniversary toast to the James Beard Foundation with Laurent Perrier Champagne, which turns 200 this year. So basically if you want to indulge and go overboard at Cochon, you really shouldn't have an issue being gluttonous. In fact, it's encouraged that you eat, well, like a pig.
· Michael Fiorello Crowned Prince of Porc at Cochon 555 Chicago [~EChi~]