The Whisky, Wine & Swine event came back to Chicago from September 13th to September 15 with a slew of events that included the Whisky Extravaganza on Friday, the Wine Riot on Saturday and ended with the finale of Grand Cochon at Revel Fulton Market on Sunday. The culinary competition showcases celebrity chefs from cities across the country with the winner crowned the “King or Queen of Pork.”
Founded in 2008, the event showcases culinary deliciousness from chefs that feature over 2,500 pounds of heritage pork that has been raised humanely by American farmers. Each chef created three unique samples, and guests then vote on their favorites (think of it as a 40-course tasting menu that guests enjoy while strolling the venue). Guests also sampled delicious cheeses, charcuterie and plenty of sweets, along with wines, spirits, and handcrafted cocktails.
Some of the chefs for 2019 included Daniel Espinoza of Cantina Loredo in Chicago, Bruno Davaillon of Buillon in Dallas, and Seungjoon Choi of Hortus in New York City. The ultimate “King of Pork” winner of the night was Brian Redzikowski of Kettner Exchange in Los Angeles.
The event started because Cochon 555‘s founder Brady Lowe wanted to better educate people on heritage pigs. In an interview with TV personality Andrew Zimmern, Lowe said, “Our single largest success story by far is helping heritage breed pigs find a voice on the internet. We have created a network of farmers and chefs that share something in common: an authentic event experience that delivers on their expectations. Staying true to brand integrity has been difficult because not everyone sees the vision the same, but ultimately, the tour has motivated hundreds of organizations and farmers to better represent the species on pasture and to provide better business marketing practices. By creating ultra-premium, hyper-local annual events, we spark marketing campaigns and business models for a national network of farmers. Farmers now have access to work with new chefs, meet celebrated media personalities, and get annual coverage that they could never attain without the Cochon US Tour. I still pinch myself when I look at the network we work with.”