You may or may not have heard that Gibsons has been celebrating their 25th Anniversary, which kicked off on March 27th. (Congratulations!) Raffles, prizes and more have been part of the ongoing activities every day since.
Cochon555 is a national event series that takes place in major markets across the country every year. Started in 2009, the event brand has raised awareness for Heritage breed pigs, sustainable farming, nose-to-tail preparation and close to a million dollars for charities, culinary schools and family farms.
Last Monday, 5 Chicago chefs, dished 5 Heritage Pigs with 5 Winemakers on behalf of Cochun555’s 5th “friendly competition for a cause” at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel. Hundreds of spectators were also on hand for the hog friendly event.
The showcase challenges each chef to prepare a 150 pound family-raised Heritage breed pig in entirety. Special set ups are put in place for the judges and samplings are offered to all in attendance.
Chefs, Ryan McCaskey of Acadia, Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice, Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish & Oyster, Cory Morris of Mercat a la Planxa and Tim Graham of Travelle, porked it out in Chicago this year for a chance to compete at the finals held at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic this June. The national winner gets a trip to Spain.
Travelle’s Executive Chef Tim Graham won the challenge. Staging custom cut wooden boards at each judging station, Chef Graham competed with the following menu: piri-piri pork belly with smoked pineapple and ramps, country pâté and rosemary loin muffuletta, chermoulah taco with radish tzatziki blood mole soup with head cheese and cracklin’ jacks.
Chef Graham’s cooked pork skins (pictured in small brown bag) tasted just like Cracker Jack, and his pork confit candle was a major creative hit. Set in small square votive sized glass, the lighted candle wick produced enough heat to melt the confit. The wicks were then pulled out, and the pork fat was spread on toast points for an outstanding porkalicious treat. Congrats, Chef G.!
Online privacy can be a touchy issue these days. If Googling customers is common practice in your business, read this recent Huffington post on restaurants snooping patrons. It may help you navigate challenging feedback down the road.
Have a wonderful Easter everyone!