Lovers of cooked and cured pork in all its forms were in hog heaven this afternoon, as Cochon 555 hit The Cosmopolitan in all its porcine-perfect glory. It was a much more food-focused event than many of our dine-around festivals — with celebrity chefs taking a back seat to the butchers and sausage makers who are re-defining American charcuterie.
A smaller event such as this — probably no more than 600 attendees — allowed for more intricate food, better wines and beers, and a general food-nerd vibe you don’t find at more mass-marketed ones…where whole pigs aren’t broken down and explained in minute, beautiful detail by celebrity butchers (yes, there are such things as celebrity butchers in real food towns) like Blackberry Farms’ Michael Sullivan and Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada from Lindy & Grundy in Los Angeles. Watching them carve an entire, 275 pound pig into all its edible parts is truly a thing of beauty (but not for the faint hearted). Even better was eating what talented, relatively unheralded chefs like Mark Ladner of New York’s Del Posto, or Stephanie Izard from Chicago’s Girl & the Goat do with all of that sweet, piggy goodness — that was just as comely as the culatello Sullivan carved from a fresh ham.
All of which caused ELV to make a pig of himself, as it were, which prevents him from adding much more to this post other than to direct you to scroll through the pictures to get a sense of what one of the tastiest events ever to hit town looked like. (If looking at pig heads gives you pause, we apologize, but like we said, this was a convocation of salumi sensualists and gourmet geeks.)
ELV is off to the store now to get some Pellegrino in hopes it will help leech some of the salt and nitrites he consumed from his pores without forming something that looks like this.