Sunday afternoon the smell of roasting pork bits was wafting through the Newseum as five chefs competed to win at Cochon 555. After rounds of pulled pork, pork rinds, pork infused cocktails, pork belly, pork shoulder, and every other pork concoction and confection you can think of, The Source’s executive chef, Scott Drewno, was crowned the prince of pork. Drewno will go on to compete at Grand Cochon in Aspen this June.
Competing chefs also included Tarver King of Ashby Inn and Restaurant, Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar, Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak and Bryan Voltaggio of Volt. Additionally, Jason Belleau of Whole Foods Market and Pamela Ginsberg of Wagshal’s Market went head to head in a butchering competition that involved a lot of sawing and slinging of every single piece of the pig.
Five wineries from around the country were represented at Cochon, however, there were plenty of pork-inspired cocktails, including a martini with olives stuffed with pickled pig knuckle from Sobel, bourbon cider with pork pearls from Drewno and a smoked ham cream soda from Voltaggio.
As the porker’s delight raged on, the chefs and their teams kept churning out different small plates, some opting to do courses, while others opted to offer several items at once. Although there were long lines to combat and it seemed as though the people of DC would never see food ever again, there were a few dishes that I managed to grab that really stood out in my mind. From Sobel: BBQ pork cupcakes with smoked shoulder and ribs, cheddar and scallions (I’d like to see THAT at the ubiquitous cupcakeries around town) and “fat Elvis” spring roll with bacon, peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. From the winner, Drewno: his pork belly potstickers as well as a pulled pork sandwich that had a sauce on it that can only be described as finger-lickin’ good. Both Voltaggio and King had pork rinds that flew off the tables, and Leeds’ roasted pork with a pine nut, currants and capers relish was delectable.
If you couldn’t pig out with everyone at Cochon, you can see more photos here.