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The Ultimate Pork Event Is Coming Soon

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 30, 2016 1:32PM

One of a great many pork dishes to eat at Cochon 555 (Image Courtesy of Galdones Photography/COCHON 555)

There are a few food events (Chicago Gourmet, Green City Market Chefs BBQ) that we mark on our calendar months in advance. We bookmark the page and refresh like Next fans trying to get the first round of season tickets. One of those events, the Cochon555 Heritage Barbecue is approaching quickly, and tickets are still available.

The event is an epic celebration of heritage pork, so if you're a lover of ham, bacon, chops or any other form of pig, it's not to be missed. Each year, five chefs compete to make the most innovative pork dishes they can, using heritage breeds of pigs raised on small farms. They'll be judged by former winners, members of the media and culinary experts; and the audience gets to taste each chef's dishes as well. The event is taking place on Sept. 11, starting at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. for VIP tickets) at the Loews Chicago hotel. This year's chefs include:

  • Chef Won Kim of Kimski
  • Chef Frank Valdez of Son of a Butcher Tavern
  • Chef Andres Padilla of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill
  • Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol
  • Chef Ashlee Aubin of Salero

While all these chefs are amazing, keep your eye on Aubin. He just swept the Chicago Gourmet paella cook-off's People's Choice and Judge's Choice awards, and clearly has a flair for competition.

In addition to the competing chefs, there's a group of "traditions chefs," many of whom have been appearing at Cochon events for years. Guests will also get to taste bites from all of these chefs:

  • Chefs Rob Levitt and Jimmy Shay of The Butcher and Larder
  • Chef John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina and El Che Bar
  • Chef Jonathan Meyer of Broken Shaker
  • Chef Greg Laketek of West Loop Salumi
  • Chef Dan Pancake of Autre Monde
  • Chef Cameron Grant of of Osteria Langhe and Animale
  • Chef Chris Davies of Steadfast

You're guaranteed not to leave hungry. Plus there is always a huge amount of wine, beer and cocktails, as well as presentations, educational events and much, much more.

Tickets for general admission aren't cheap—they start at about $100. If you can swing it, go for the splurge and get VIP tickets; for an additional $50, you get in an hour early and don't have to fight the crowds to get your pork fix.