I wanted to go to this event but could not make it. Below is an excerpt provided by Cochon555 about the Miami winner for this year, Chef Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio.
Cochon U.S. Tour announces the Miami winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition. Chef Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio was crowned the Prince of Porc on Sunday, April 3 at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. Chef Diego will go on to represent Miami against the other nine cities’ winners in Grand Cochon at Snowmass / Aspen for the title of 2016 King or Queen of Porc and the grand prize, a four-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region. Grand Cochon features ten chefs competing for the crown and guests attending the event can book tickets for Heritage Fire, the country’s premier live-fire event which both fall on the same weekend as the Classic in Aspen. This year’s Miami event benefitted the Piggy Bank, a farm devoted to providing free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms.
This year’s competing chefs included Anthony LePape of Ritz-Carlton South Beach – Official Host and Hotel, Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon, Alex Chang of Vagabond, Michael Fiorello of Beachcraft and Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio. The chefs prepared show-stopping dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from family farms in a head to tail showcase for a crowd of pork-loving gourmands. Chef Diego won the event with a Large Black breed of pig raised by Maverick Meats/FKS Farms. This breed is thought to have originated from Chinese breeds brought over to England. The Large Black is a critically rare breed known for its taste, pasture foraging skills and overall hardiness. Large blacks have short black hair, large shoulders and a long body. When harvested, even at 200 pounds, the micro-marbeling, short muscle fibers and excellent bellies produce exceptional bacon and moist meat with old world flavor. The Large Black worked in tandem with Chef Diego’s winning menu of five uniquely created delicious bites. Dishes included Tamal de Quinoa, Pan Con Chicharron, Lamay Cebiche Salad, Morcilla Adobo, and Chaufa Tacu Tacu.
The Cochon555 Culinary Cocktail programming started during VIP hour with Cochon555’s Punch Kings featuring Breckenridge Bourbon, a regional competition featuring six notable barkeeps including Brian Sassen of Repour Homemade Cocktails Miami Beach, Nico Abarzua of Beachcraft, Tim Christakis of Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, Lef Kraounakis of La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Mike Berland of Ritz-Carlton South Beach and winner Jack Araque of BHB Bar/St. Regis Bar with his cocktail, American Mojo who will go on to compete at Last Call at Heritage Fire in Snowmass/Aspen for the national title.
About Cochon555 U.S. Tour
The Cochon555 U.S. Tour, executes a variety of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs with the world’s first nose-to-tail pig competition. Created in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breed pigs, this epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually with over 60 events. For more details about the events and to see videos referencing all the events in the Cochon555 family, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe, founder of the Cochon555 US Tour and Taste Network, Piggy Bank’s mission is to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. The sanctuary will change the future of food by uniting a community working together for safer, responsible farming practices and sharing of genetics, livestock and the sharing of information. Piggy Bank is dedicated to creating the first Open Source agriculture platform through the responsible farming of heritage species. The Piggy Bank farm, located in Missouri, will raise pigs to be gifted only to communities dedicated to elevating the cause and expanding the model of social and agricultural transparency. For more information about Piggy Bank or The Giving Back Fund, visit www.piggy-bank.org.
* All photos courtesy of Cochon555*