Locally Grown

Locally Grown Classics: Cochon 555 Coverage, Aftermath Style!
2011/02/09, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Locally Grown Classics

Hello, Tens. Today’s Locally Grown Classic is brought in remembrance of an event which visited Our Fair City during the course if its first two years, bringing with it a celebration of, as it is billed, 5 Local Chefs, 5 Local Wines, and 5 Heritage Pigs. This year the Festival has decided to skip Des Moines (which is attributed to a low turnout last year). Do the people of the DMZ feel slighted? Maybe. Do the chefs that would maybe be invited to compete feel slighted? Kinda. Luckily the Chefs of the DMZ have plenty to keep themselves busy in the absence of competitive cooking, but there are still some grumblings around town regarding what said Chefs would do with their Heritage Hog.

It doesn’t matter. The festival isn’t coming, and all we have left are the memories. Here is a transcript of some of my memories from the 2010 event held at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines. Enjoy another Locally Grown Classic.

The Cook

Cochon 555 Coverage, Aftermath Style







Congratulations to Matt Steigerwald of Lincoln Cafe in Mt. Vernon, Iowa for winning the coveted “Prince Of Pork” title for the second year in a row. Matt and his crew will be traveling to Aspen, Colorado to compete with other winners from around the country at the Food&Wine magazine Aspen Classic Cochon çhampionship. They will have a chance to hang with Jaques, Giada, Mario, Tom C., and other food luminaries. Sounds fun! We here at Locally Grown wish Chef Matt and his Team all the best when representing the #1 pork producing state in the world in Colorado.

Good Job.

Now as you may recall, I was on self-assigned assignment to LiveBlog the Cochon555 event. This did not happen. Not even a little bit. After spending tens of minutes typing emails and texts, having local celebrities text organizers, and other assorted tomfoolery, hoping to get a free pass to cover the event (and nearly securing a judge’s spot) I was called upon by a friend, Chef Hal Jasa of the soon-to-be realized restaurant Homage. Hal was down a crew member and invited me to come help. So instead of spending time spitting out words I turned out plates, 11 courses on 3 plates for 22 judges. Oh, in one hour. It was a great time punctuated by Templeton Rye, laughter, quenelles of heart pate, liquid nitrogen pork ice cream, Two Dudes in D&G glasses, meeting new friends, and the clearest pork consume I have ever seen. The work kept me, thankfully, from boring you to death every 15 minutes from 4pm to 9pm Saturday. It did not, however, keep me from having a grand old time with some great friends.

Cochon isn’t just a contest for chefs, it is also a showcase for local wine and brewers, with a special visit from Tempelton Rye, Mad House Brewery, and Madrigal Wines to name a few.

As soon as I find my notes, look forward to part 3…

Kudos to all the chefs, wineries, judges, and heritage pigs that took part in Cochon555.


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