Should have posted this yesterday, but I got caught up making syrups for the Seattle Weekly Food Awards (more on that later). Sunday night's Cochon555 event happened in a beautiful little pocket of dramatic sunshine, right on the water at the Bell Harbor Convention Center. Five chefs, five special pigs, five wineries, how could that not be a good time? Though it was technically a competition, all chefs just did what they do best, and how. Here's what I know, in rambling form: (more pics after the jump)
3.) Tamara Murphy (Brasa) should open a pig-only restaurant already. She served mini pork burgers, chicerones, a gorgeous app plate of pates; and her pork-n-chile stew had people running for the beer table, so spicy and delicious. 4.) Pork rinds (chicherones) are the new peanuts. I hope. I had pork rinds three ways this evening.
5.) I am officially over the "bacon in everything" trend. 6.) Contradicting #5, I have to agree with Hsiao-Ching Chou that Jason Wilson's (Crush) bacon macaroons made my toes curl. 7.) I still love bacon salt, but Crush's bacon powder was a thing of genius. 7.5) Forget what I said re: #5.
8.) Sometimes it pays to overachieve, as in the case of the night's winner, Anthony Hubbard of Chow Foods who threw down 5 courses like he was on Iron Chef. Me thinks it was the bacon bourbon ice cream that put him over. I dug the pork gelee.
9.) Charles & Charles rose of syrah will be my unofficial beverage of spring. 10.) McCrea's Roussanne continues to be one of the most lovely food-compatible whites produced in the state. 11.) But, I'm sorry, I think like my pig better with beer, especially some of the decadent cuts the chefs were dolling out. Luckily, Pike Brewing could fulfill my needs with Tandem ale, perfect for the sweet and salty. Not that good red wasn't around: Buty, Cadence, Charles Smith, McCrea, and Elk Cove (WHY don't we get their sparkling wine up here?). Cadence poured a very well balanced first vintage from their very own vineyard on Red Mountain, Cara Mia. McCrea's Grenache had great raspberry fruit, acid, and a I could see through it (my fav red of the night for pork).
12-16.) The difference between a well-raised pig and that poor excuse for the pink stuff shrink wrapped in the meat aisle: a chasm. Look around at you local farmers market for pork from the likes of Skagit River Ranch, Holthaus Farms, and Whistling Train Farms.