Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

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Cochon 555's Heritage BBQ

As you may know, Cochon 555 is a food adventure where anyone with a pork lust can get their fill while supporting a great cause and promoting ethical farming.  Cochon 555 launched Heritage BBQ to continue in this trend as well as promoting various BBQ flavors and encouraging guests/consumers to be involved in farm to table efforts.

I attended Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ with great friends like Cecile who writes at the Worldly bite and wrote up an amazing review here and Aparna who writes for The Hungry Travelist.  My mom flew up from South Florida to join me again. If you may remember, she came up before for Cochon 555 and the chef's dinner at Blue Jacket (both were SPECTACULAR).  However, my poor mom had a migraine and I invited a friend to replace her.

Upon arrival, we immediately ran to find the welcome ribs among other goodies.  It really is a magical journey involving all the pork and bourbon one can consume. I stopped by Lukas Smith's stand to try his two cocktails on draft both with tequila.  One of my favorite things at the event was the Cochon 555 perfect manhattan.  

Competing chefs included Nicholas Stefanelli of Masseria, Will Morris of Vermillion, Sam Molavi of Compass Rose and RJ Cooper of Rouge24, and Jose Adorno of Graffiato.  With all the deliciousness, the judges had a tough call with who would be crowned King of Porc.  In the end, the crown went to Jose Adorno!

There were chefs who came to share their love of piggy and support this great event.  Non-competing chefs included Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto, Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom Tavern, Kyle Bailey of Birch & Bailey, Louis Goral of Rural Society, Craig Hartman of The Barbeque Exchange,  Jeremy Waybright of Boss Shepherd’s, Danny Lee of Mandu and Haider Karoum of Estadio/Proof/DoiMoi.

This is an event that I will definitely continue to support as it promotes local farming and supporting chefs, farmers, and more.  I can't wait to see how Cochon 555 and it's events evolve in the future.

Cochon 555 or How I Ate All the Piggy

Cochon 555 is a food loving, fun filled event involving friendly competition by local chefs and mixologists.  The road show hit Washington, DC area on March 22nd.  My mom traveled from Miami so she could go with one of her favorite people - me!

The butchery demonstration. PIGGY!

The butchery demonstration. PIGGY!

The road show hits various cities around the country.  Besides the main event, they offer tasty dinners with more one-on-one with chefs and key taste makers.  My mom and I attended Chef Kyle Bailey's dinner (post later).  Being a nonprofit professional, I respect organizations that have a larger mission to benefit others or raise awareness of a key issue.  Cochon 555 not only raises money for scholarships for James Beard Foundation, they also provide a platform for people to learn more about the importance of supporting local products. 

After reviewing the recommendations, my mom and I still weren't completely prepared.  We lost track of time and didn't sample as much or as many areas.  Always remember at events like this, keep moving and remember not to dwell in one area too much.

Some chefs went all out in theme with outfits and signage.  I really respect someone who goes all out.   It made it even more fun for guests.

Each dish was incredibly flavorful and different.  It made the event all the more fun that each dish brought something new to the table.

Chef Danny & Yesoon Lee of Mandu was crowned the Prince of Porc for DC!  Mandu has done many exciting things recently with the anju and I can't even begin to imagine what's next.  

Diner en Blanc

Feel free to click through the gallery above to see some of the photos I took.  There are several other photos available.

Diner en blanc made its Washington, DC debut last week and I was one of the first attendees.  Diner en blanc is not for the weary.  There were rules.  Many rules.  There were also many costs involved.  When I initially proposed the event to Man Friend I was met with confusion and annoyance.  Quite understandable on his part, however, I do what I want.

Diner en blanc has become a worldwide phenomenon that started in Paris.  The roots were very simple - a man wanting to have a nice dinner party.  It has evolved into a part flash mob, part dinner, part drinking, part dancing - a completely spectacular time.

Getting to Diner en blanc was initially frustrating.  It was approximately a million degrees that day.  I was rocking my Rent the Runway jumpsuit and jewelry.  I cabbed the table and chairs that Lisa who writes for Push Play Eat rented.  I met her and our group at Dupont where our table leader, Katie, provided us further directions.

This is where it got kinda hinky.  We tried to get all of the Dupont groups on the metro to the final destination.  Other groups throughout the city were doing the same thing.  I don't think commuters were too keen to see people carrying tables, chairs, several baskets trying to force themselves onto the metro.  I also did not enjoy dragging that card table.  The table was kind of mad at the situation, but realized I was in control and relented.

Once we made it to the destination we began setting up.  I ran to get my food basket (I ordered a basket from the caterer) and wine as Lisa set up.  I ran back and finally began to relax.  That's when I was able to look around at the sea of people who would be my dining companions for the evening.

There was music, laughter, dancing and sparklers.  I don't like sparklers, but felt the need to join in.  Long story short - my mom once severely burnt her thumb with a sparkler and I witnessed it first hand.  She's fine, I'm fine.  I would just rather not take that chance.

I was lucky enough to sit next to Alison who manages her own wine consulting business and Laetitia who was one of the group organizers.  As I have said before, Laetitia is one of my favorite Parisians.

There were so many amazing outfits, table arrangements and food!  I loved my own food, but did want to dive into other people's plates.

Diner en blanc was one of those events that I could easily have talked myself out of, but didn't.  I'm glad I didn't.  It was worth every penny and drop of sweat.