Lark's chef/owner John Sundstrom is today on his way to Las Vegas for the first-ever All-Star Cochon 555, a swine celebration staffed by a hand-picked crew of past Cochon champions and near-winners.
Befitting its Vegas location, this edition of Cochon--a traveling road show featuring heritage hogs, top butchers, and leading local chefs--is big. The 10 participating chefs are planning to create 40 different piggy dishes.
Sundstrom, who's twice won the contest in Seattle, describes the event as "not so much a competition as a big party" featuring founder Brady Lowe's favorite chefs.
"It's over the top," Sundstrom says.
Sundstrom's teamed with Next Iron Chef contender Mary Dumont of Harvest in Boston and Zazu's Duskie Estes and John Stewart to handle the sweets segment of the tasting.
"I'm doing a pork-belly tarte tatin, with pork belly instead of fruit," Sundstrom says.
Other planned dessert dishes include sandwiches of bacon oatmeal cookies and salty-caramel ice cream, rolled in crushed-up chicharrones; Manhattan snow cones; and bacon cotton candy.
Back home in Seattle, Sundstrom this weekend is offering a somewhat tamer menu for diners willing to brave Capitol Hill Block Party crowds.
"Block Party is one of those funny things because it might shy people away from going to Capitol Hill for dinner," Sundstrom says, explaining the rationale behind his this-weekend-only prix fixe menu at Lark.
The three-course dinner, featuring pork rillettes, Portuguese roasted clams, and raspberry ripple ice cream, costs $28. The special runs through Sunday night.