Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cochon 555 Pig Out in Toronto

Cochon 555 started over 7 years ago in the U.S. as a travelling Culinary Event.  It's a culinary competition and tasting BBQ event that brings together local farmers, Top Chefs, distillers and pork lovers from all over.

Cochon comes to Toronto for the first time for the 1st Toronto Food & Wine Festival held at Evergreen Brickworks.  It was held on Sept. 18th and I was lucky to get an invite to go since it was a separate ticketed event apart from the festival weekend event.

Celebrity judges were on hand to sample all the tasty food and choose a winning dish from a great array of some of Toronto's top restaurants and chefs who skillfully prepared and some original creations of pork and accompaniments.

Evergreen Brickworks Heritage BBQ
Imagine Pork products and BBQ's spread out all around the open air Brickworks structure.  Fire and pork mostly but there were a couple of exceptions.  There was some great True North Salmon grilled by Michael Hunter (TheHunterChef) which was one of my favourite things I tasted that night.

And one unusual thing that was there were Cannoli's from Holy Cannoli.  But it was nice to have something different for dessert.

Roger Mooking

Another one of my favourite dishes was Roger Mooking (Twist) massive Ribs.  They were served with a dipping sauce but the sauce wasn't even needed they because they were flavoured so well.
Roger himself was stoking the fire on an incredibly humid night so I am sure he worked up some good meat sweats that night.

Some of the participating restaurants included P&L Catering, Twist, Lisa Marie, Beast, The Good Son and their Chef owners were all present busily preparing things like sausages, ribs, pork belly, bao's, fried things and even some empanadas.

With so many it's hard to eat that much pork dishes in one sitting but I think I tried at least 6 dishes but I know the judges probably had very full stomaches.

There was even a pop up butcher shop and the butchered a whole pig and sold off the different parts of it .  See first picture on the left.

Overall it was a big Chef Bro Fest with most of the Chef's being male and most located in the downtown hipster areas of town.  They had a chance to cook together and try each other's food all in the same place so I am sure they appreciated the fact that there was some play with all their work.

I think having it on a friday night around Jewish holidays limited the attendance but hey I guess they  figured there were enough Pork fans to fill the event.  It wasn't full and there weren't any long lineups which was nice for a change but I am sure they probably expected a lot more people.
Overall a good concept and I enjoyed the fact that there were large iced water dispensers on hand for those people that needed a non alcoholic refresher.

Overall it was a good event but friends of mine paid for VIP tickets and thought that it was pretty expensive for what they received.

For more information
And for future Cochon 555 events

*Disclosure:  My ticket was complimentary but the opinions and photos are all my own.

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