Napa: Yesterday, the Silverado Resort hosted the Bay Area's first Amuse Cochon event/competition, wherein five chefs prepared five heritage pigs and paired them with five local winemakers. The five chefs—Ryan Farr, Chris Cosentino, Taylor Boetticher (Fatted Calf), Allan Benton (Benton Hams) and Peter Pahk (Silverado)—pretty much crafted an entire spread each, meaning that we're fairly certain everyone who attended is still sweating pork today. Here then, are some observations from last night, the night that was:
1) Cosentino had a female pig. How do we know this? Because uterus was just one of the pig parts in his sofrito, along with spleen, kidney and stomach. It was topped with brain aioli ("brainnaise"). 'Twas delicious. Fact.
2) All due respect to the winemakers, but the best pairing might have been the Magnolia beer. Obviously, this was because one of the pigs ate the same mash from which Dave McLean brewed the beer.
3) Tennessee ham man—and serious bacon master—Allan Benton won the Classic Award, even though he technically broke (bent") the rules by bringing his own bacon. His prize: one of those novelty bacon wallets. We shit you not.
4) "Oh I'm so sorry! That guy's bacon just got me so excited!" —(Possibly drunk) woman who dropped her pork plate on the floor while wildly applauding Benton.
5) Words that, when uttered, will kill your buzz: "There was a caviar station?"
6) Farr took home the well-deserved Creativity Award with his porchetta plate, chicharonnes, and "XXX Offal Bologna" on a stick. Bonus Farr-age: for those wondering, the man wants to sell his turduckens over the holidays. Stay tuned...
7) The Overall Winner and holder of the title of the "Prince of Porc", as determined by the judges and the crowd: everyone, put your hands together for The Cosentino.