by Steven Doyle photos by Joey Stewart
After an epic afternoon feasting on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 600 guests, including chefs, somms, barkeeps, and notable judges, gathered at Cochon555 Dallas presented by Citi with full glasses to toast the Dallas “Prince of Pork” Chef Bruno Davaillon. Chef Davaillon and his team presented 6 magnificent dishes utilizing 1 whole Hereford-Mangalitsa Cross raised by Chubby Dog Farm. Cochon555 founder, Brady Lowe, bestowed the winning chef with the regional title. Chef Davaillon will represent Dallas at Grand Cochon, the national finale on September 15, 2019 in Chicago. Alongside Chef Davaillon, Stephen Garcia, the head bartender at Bullion, took home the trophy for Punch Kings, Cochon555’s spirit competition.
The event raised $4,500, proceeds of which will support Piggy Bank, a charitable foundation and start-up farm in Missouri that serves as a kickstarter for emerging family farms, as well as a safety net for farms in the wake of a disaster (flood, fire and disease).
To win this culinary competition for a cause, 5 chefs battled it out and presented more than 30 dishes, all featuring heritage breed pigs, to guests and celebrity judges. This year’s competing chefs included Host Chef Christof Syré of LAW at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Chef David Uygur of Macellaio, Chef Bruno Davaillon of Bullion, Chef Matthew Scott of Great Scott and Chef Josh Bonee of Fine China. Chef Davaillon’s rich but balanced menu earned him the coveted trophy this year. The winning menu included: Paté en Croûte de Provencal with green olive, almond and herb de provence, Pied de Cochon Farci, stuffed pig trotter with morel and hazelnut, Rillon Comme Chez Moi with pork belly and pain levain, Bouillon de Cochon, chestnut soup with rillette, Choucroute Fumée, smoked hock with sauerkraut and foie gras cream, and Tarte “Boudin Noir,” a blood tarte with apple-mustard jelly. Guests ate in celebration of a great cause while listening to music by DJ Frank-DuX.
Cochon555 also hosted two beverage competitions this year, celebrating both spirits and wines. During Punch Kings, presented by El Tesoro Tequila (video), 5 top barkeeps from Dallas faced off to make the best whole-bottle punch for a panel of 6 notable judges. Stephen Garcia of Bullion won Punch Kings with his punch, El Corazón, which combined El TesoroTM Blanco Tequila, Pineapple Habanero Syrup, Tepache and Lime. In Somm Smackdown (video), 5 top sommeliers were challenged to select a wine that perfectly paired with the dishes presented by the 5 competing chefs.Cameron Cronin of Sachet took the crown with his selection of Contadi Castaldi, NV Franciacorta Brut Rosé from Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy. Additional competing somms and barkeeps included Courtney Keeling of Graileys, Chris Keel from Put A Cork In It, Daniel Miller from Grace and Christina Chilcoat from Royal Blue Grocery who rounded out the Somm Smackdown competition and Kyle Pipa from Four Seasons Dallas, Tamara Rose from The Parliament, Jonathan Maslyk from Industry Alley and Tristan Spyropoulos from Hookline, who presented hand-crafted punches for the spirits competition.
“The national competition gets more intense and dynamic every year, and the performance of chefs, somms, and barkeeps in Dallas shows precisely why the city is synonymous with landscaping a responsible culinary excellence in this country,” said Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “Chef Davaillon’s winning dishes were bold, modern, thoughtful, and full of the kinds of flavors that enhance what heritage breed pigs have to offer. We can’t wait to return to Dallas.”
Event attendees also had the opportunity to explore the signature Cheese Bar, which featured stunning Rosé pairings from Chateau D’Esclans, and the Surf & Turf Tartare Bar, where Chef Josh Sutcliffe and Chef Junior Borges educated guests on wine pairings with wines from Patz & Hall. To freshen their palate, guests stopped by the Veggie Bar, hosted by Chef Andrea Shackelford of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, and tasted through a beautiful portfolio from Azzuro Wine Company. Guests also enjoyed sparklers from LaCroix, tried neat tastings from El Tesoro Tequila and Westland Distillery, sipped on inventive cocktails from Ketel One Botanical, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, and Zacapa Rum, and experienced the Manhattan Project, which featured premium bourbons from Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace topped withLuxardo cherries. Notable pastry chef, Joe Baker from Joe the Baker, worked with Perfect Purée of Napa Valley to craft innovative desserts for those that wanted to indulge in a sweet bites with savory twists. As the Official Card of Cochon555 Dallas, Citi cardmembers received a gift by flashing their Citi Credit Card or Citibank Debit Card. The headline all-star butcher, Nathan Abeyta from Deep Cuts Dallas Custom Butcher Shop helped raise money for charity with the silent auction and pop-up butcher shop adorned with gifts from John Boos & Co., and participating sponsors of the event,