The competition pits chefs cooking five different heritage (more on that below) breeds of pigs with the goal to use the entire 200 pound pig snout to tail and everything in between to create their menus. The Seattle St. Patrick's day stop on the circus tour had bonus action though- a sixth chef was added along with Mark Bodinet from Cedarbrook Lodge's Copperleaf Restaurant who cooked another pig BBQ style for the chefs and their teams after the competition. The chosen chefs this year were Jason Franey – Canlis, Johnathan Sundstrom – Lark, Jason Barwikowski – Woodsman Tavern, Joshua Henderson – Skillet, Rachel Yang / Seif Chirchi –Joule/Revel, and Shane Ryan – Matts in the Market.
These chefs are given distinct breeds of heritage pigs. Old Spot from White Buffalo Ranch in Oregon (originating from England is a critically rare breed) was given to Jason Franey of Canlis. Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (husband and wife duo from Joule/Revel) where given a Berkshire pig known for it's marbling from Washington based Florek Family Farm. Shane Ryan of Matt's in the Market also got a Berkshire but from a different farm, Mosaic Farms in Oregon. Joshua Henderson of Huxley Wallace Collective (better known Skillet fame) drew a beaut, the Farmer's Cross pig known for sweet meat and marbling. Tails and Trotters farm in Oregon uses local hazelnuts to feed these pigs and increase their flavor. Jonathan Sundstrum of Lark fame is a two time 555 winner and probably a favorite going into this competition. He got the beautiful (yes pigs can be beautiful) Hampshire another English breed from Jones Family Farm in Washington. These pigs have a superior fat to meat ratio. Last, but not least Jason Barwikowski an Oregon chef, was paired with McKinlay Vineyards in Oregon who provided an extremely rare breed, a Red Wattle pig named for its red color and the fleshy skin under its jowls. If you want to learn more about these hogs there's a great blog written by Hanna Raskin on the featured swine in this year's event.
|Charles Smith: photo via Charles Smith Wines|
This year five bourbons in addition to five family wineries and five chefs cooking five pigs was added to the line-up. Tastings of Templeton Rye, Breckenridge Bourbon, High West (a FloJo favorite--because its located in Park City, UT), Buffalo Trace and Four Roses in addition to the perfect manhattan bar showcasing Luxardo cherries. We thought the mason jar toppers given out at the perfect manhattan bar were a nice touch!
|Ro trying some oysters|
Live life with pork, flavor and fun!
Recipe for Mikey's Black Gold Punch
Brave Horse Tavern