San Francisco's annual edition of pork bacchanal Cochon 555 is only a month away (it'll be held on April 12th at the Fairmont), and the organizers have released this year's roster of competing chefs. It's another killer lineup, with one returning competitor and four newcomers to the ring:
- David Bazirgan, Dirty Habit (returning)
- Salvatore Cracco, Trou Normand
- Thomas Kalb, Cafe du Nord
- Yoni Levy, Alta CA
- Evan and Sarah Rich, Rich Table
For those who've never attended a Cochon event, the basics are thus: each chef is given a whole heritage-breed pig, from which they're encouraged to make an assortment of up to six dishes. The public is then brought in to sample and vote on each chef's creations, with the winning Prince or Princess of Porc moving on to the Grand Cochon competition in Aspen, where they compete against the winners from the nine other U.S. cities on the tour. The resulting creations get pretty wild: last year featured everything from tonkotsu ramen to foie gras served out of a toothpaste tube to lard snickerdoodles, with Hapa Ramen's Richie Nakano walking away with the crown.
This year's judging panel will be headed up by RN74's Adam Sobel, who not only won the 2013 edition in SF, but walked away with the top prize in Aspen. He'll also be serving a tartare bar as part of the event, while Joshua Schwartz of Del Dotto Vineyards will be doing a special BBQ "family meal." The $125 ticket ($200 for VIPs, who get in an hour early) also includes access to a ton of other snacks and drinks, including oysters, bacon, pork-centric desserts, cheese from Mission Cheese, Manhattans, mezcal, and wine. They're available for purchase right here.