Inside a packed ballroom on the eighth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, a new Prince of Porc was crowned last night at the Chicago Cochon 555. That champion is Cosmo Goss of The Publican and Publican Quality Meats, beating out the likes of Matthias Merges (Yusho), Ryan Poli (Tavernita), Kevin Hickey (Allium), and Josh Adams (June) in the combined ballots of judges and attendees. Goss' nose-to-tail utilization featured a breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert format, starting with a baked pork "pancake" and finishing with dessert "churros" (chicharones) with a chocolate dipping sauce. Goss will move on to compete in the national finals in Aspen on June 16 against other winners from around the country.
The event capped a weekend of Cochon 555-themed events around the city, including an all-star dinner at Sepia Friday night and the Pastoral Artisan Festival Saturday at the Chicago French Market. Other happenings last night featured a butchering demonstration by Rob Levitt of The Butcher and Larder, a triumphant appearance of Charlie McKenna of Lillie's Q, a stealth appearance by Rick Bayless, and an all-star punch mixology competition, won by The Drawing Room Bar Manager and Chief Mixologist Cristiana DeLucca.
Pork-centric tastings filled the room and wafted through the space the entire festive evening. Allium had a special rhubarb beer brewed for the event, which was paired with chef Kevin Hickey's "Chicago Street Food" menu that made waves with a bone-in BBQ rib pierogi. Matthias Merges' offerings from Yusho featured a "Logan Poser Ramen" with crispy pigtail, braised shoulder, ume boshi, and pickled ramps.
Goss will attempt to be the second straight Chicago chef to be crowned King of Porc in the national finals, following Nightwood's Jason Vincent's championship last year. But for now Goss seems to be enjoying his victory.
·All Cochon 555 Coverage [~ECHI~]