Cochon 555 Returns to Boston on Sunday, March 24, 2013 – UPDATED: Chef Michael Scelfo Wins

by David Dadekian

Cochon 555 Fifth Anniversary Tour

Cochon 555, the 10-city culinary competition that promotes sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs, returns to Boston on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Providence’s own Chef Matt Jennings of Farmstead won the Boston competition it’s first three years, passing the baton to Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro and Coppa last year.

This year the Boston event will see the following chefs competing for the title of Prince or Princess of Porc: Chefs Jody Adams of Rialto and Trade, Michael LaScola of American Seasons, Colin Lynch of MentonMichael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern and Brian Young of Citizen Public House.

The full release with all the event details will follow below, but first, Eat Drink RI caught up with Michael Scelfo, recent winner of the 2013 Boston American Lamb Jam, to ask his thoughts on competing in one of the hottest events in the country.

Chef Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern

Chef Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern

Eat Drink RI: What are your thoughts on competing in the Cochon 555 this year?

Michael Scelfo:  I’m really excited to be a part of such a prestigious event, to even be invited to compete is a nod to the work I do.

EDRI: I know each chef is paired up with a heritage breed pig from a local farm. Who and what breed are you working with?

MS: I’m thrilled to be working with Brambly Farm in Norfolk, Massachusetts. They’re my regular pig supplier. My Cochon 555 pig is a heritage Berkshire. Sandra and Ted [owners of Brambly Farm] love every animal they raise and it shows in the quality of the product they deliver.

EDRI: How are you approaching the competition?

MS: My  philosophy for Cochon 555 is the same as my everyday cooking, and my nose to tail dinners. Let the animal do the work. I want to showcase the best of what the pig has to offer with simple, thoughtful, and hopefully well executed dishes from an array of styles and techniques.

Could Scelfo do the unimaginable and win the Boston-area lamb and pork competitions in one year? Find out for yourself while you get stuffed on some of the best pork dishes you’ll ever taste. You can purchase tickets online here. The full details follow below. Check back on Eat Drink RI on Monday, March 25 for the winner. Details on previous Boston Cochon 555 events can be found here: 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

UPDATE: Chef Michael Scelfo and his team won the 2013 Boston Cochon 555 on Sunday, March 24.


The National Culinary Competition & Tasting Event Dedicated to Heritage Pigs, Family Wineries & Sustainable Farming Rolls into Boston on Its Fifth Anniversary Tour

ATLANTA, GA (February 21, 2013) — 2013 marks a culinary milestone: The fifth anniversary of Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event created to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Arriving in Beantown Sunday, March 24, the pork-centric tour gathers together five chefs, five pigs and five wineries at each event – ultimately touching down in 10 cities across the country and bringing its message of nose-to-tail cooking, breed diversity and family farming to food enthusiasts nationwide.

What: Each Cochon 555 event challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. Competing chefs include: Jody Adams (Rialto / Trade), Michael LaScola (American Seasons), Michael Scelfo (Russell House Tavern), Brian Young (Citizen Public House), and Colin Lynch (Menton).

Guests will be treated to an epic pork feast alongside wines from five small family-owned wineries plus special tastings from Robert Kacher Selections, Taza Chocolate and Pig’s Nose Scotch. Twenty judges and 400 guests help decide the winning chef, who is crowned the Prince (or Princess) of Porc and will compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on Sunday, June 16.

Also included in the evening is a preview of the new Heritage BBQ event in which Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q will roll out family meal – another whole pig cooked barbecue-style immediately preceding the awards.

VIP guests will experience some of the new additions for 2013, including the launch of the cocktail competition called “Punch Kings” featuring Breckenridge Bourbon and six local bartenders, the all-new Tartare Bar, sustainable oysters as well as reserve wines and spirits.

To celebrate five years, Cochon is adding five bourbons to the lineup. All attendees will get samples of Templeton Rye, Breckenridge Bourbon, High West, Buffalo Trace and Four Roses in addition to the Perfect Manhattan Bar showcasing Luxardo and Eagle Rare. New to 2013 is also the Chupito/Mezcal Bar, a tasting experience featuring Ilegal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Pierde Almas and Fidencio. The infamous Craft Cheese Bar sees a facelift featuring a local cheesemonger, Cypress Grove Chevre, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Spring Brook Farm with an exclusive tasting of blues from Rogue Creamery, and favorites from Kerrygold. Everyone can commemorate the experience by visiting the City Eats photo booth and voting for the best bite of the day.

The fun continues with a butcher demonstration presented by Miyabi/Zwilling and a raffle to benefit the student volunteers, ice-cold brews, Champagne toast, award ceremony, Fernet Branca digestifs, pork-spiked desserts and after-party will close out the evening.

Where: Revere Hotel Boston Common – The Official Host of Cochon 555 Boston
200 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116

When: Sunday, March 24, 2013
4pm (VIP); 5pm (general admission)

Tickets: $125 (general admission) and $200 (VIP); to purchase tickets, visit


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