by Martha Michael
The annual culinary competition Cochon555 returns to Atlanta this Sunday. The tour, which promotes awareness of heritage breed hog farming, will take place at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead.
Guests can watch five area chefs compete for the title of “Prince/Princess of Porc” as they each finish their week-long preparation of an entire heritage breed pig, transforming the 200-pound hog into dishes available for tasting. Participating chefs include Drew Van Leuvan of Seven Lamps, Stephen Toevs of The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Andre Gomez of Porch Light Latin Kitchen, Robert Phelan of One Eared Stag and the soon-to-open Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken & Oysters and Michael Perez of Donetto.
To educate the public about these heritage breeds, a pop-up butcher demo will also take place, along with an auction.
Beyond pork dishes, there will be other communal feasting opportunities, including a pop-up ramen bar, farmstead cheese bar, cured meat station, pastry and dessert stations and even a luxe butter bar with foie gras. Look for chefs Hector Santiago of El Super Pan, Doug Turbush of Seed, Stem and Drift, pastry chef Ashley Auer of Cooks & Soldiers and other faces from the Atlanta restaurant scene featuring their original creations at these stations.
The all-inclusive event will also feature numerous beverages, including 40 boutique wines, cocktails, craft beer and artisanal cider.
In addition to the main cook-off, sommeliers will face off for the best pig-wine match in the Somm Smackdown; and barkeeps will battle in the whole-bottle Punch Kings cocktail competition.
A portion of event proceeds will benefit Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank www.piggy-bank.org, a foundation that provides small, family-owned hog farms free access to heritage breed genetics.
Cochon555. June 25, 5-7:30 p.m. The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, 3434 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. General admission: $125, VIP admission: $200, Bespoke admission: $400. VIP admission includes include early admission at 4 p.m., tastings from sommelier and cocktail competitions. Bespoke ticket package includes early admission at 3:30 p.m., private wine tasting, tasting from cocktail competitions, and multi-course dinner with chefs on Saturday, June 24. cochon555.com/2017-tour/atlanta.