By Kelly J. Hayes | May 22, 2015 | Food & Drink
This summer, chefs pair up with craft farmers, butchers, and hungry guests for Food & Wine's ultimate culinary cook-off.
Chefs will prepare thousands of pounds of flame-roasted rare-breed meat at Heritage Fire.
Do you know the difference between a red wattle and a large black? A whole bunch of chefs who can explain—and taste—the difference between these heritage breed hogs are coming to the Roaring Fork Valley for the Food & Wine Classic weekend in June. (And they will tell you the wattle has a bolder, herbaceous flavor.)
Grand Cochon, the event that rocked the Hotel Jerome and closed the last four Classic weekends in high-foodie style, will move to primetime this summer in Snowmass where, once again, the “King or Queen of Porc” will be crowned. On the night of Saturday, June 20, 10 chefs—the winners of Cochon 555’s 10-city, nationwide competition celebrating the finest hogs in all the land—will bring their sharpest knives and skills to the finale event.
Those in the know will show up early for this gastronomic gathering that also pours the best bourbons, pairs the best wines, and provides its attendees the chance to meet and greet the chefs at the forefront of the “nose-totail” movement.
Food & Wine’s Grand Cochon will distinguish this year’s “King or Queen of Porc.”
The night beforehand, smoke above Base Village will signal the launch of Heritage Fire, a new event that involves 45 notable chefs and butchers cooking 3,000 pounds of heritage animals in celebration of breed diversity and family farming. This live-fire event, which has its roots in Napa Valley, also features tipples from 40 different wineries, plus a competition called Punch King’s Last Call, during which 10 barkeeps will try to recreate the best Breckenridge bourbon punch.
Unlike any other event, Heritage Fire is a primal gathering for those who love to eat, drink, and party with other like-minded craft meat lovers. Around the village, fireside spits and racks will roast dry-aged beef, whole pigs, lamb, goat, squab, rabbit, duck, and chickens over live flames until perfectly cooked and ready for picking.
The winners of these pork-perfect events are not only the chefs who are competing, but also the craft farmers who raise these animals with care, the attendees who get a taste of the emerging farm-chef connection, and, of course, Snowmass.
Heritage Fire takes place on Friday, June 19, in Snowmass Base Village; the Grand Cochon finale takes place on Saturday, June 20, in the Grand Ballroom at the Viceroy Snowmass. For more information on either event or to purchase tickets, visit cochon555.com.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GALDONES PHOTOGRAPHY/COCHON 555 (GRAND COCHON, HERITAGE); PERRY JOHNSON/FOOD & WINE (GRAND TASTING TENTS); GALDONES PHOTOGRAPHY/FOOD & WINE (BLAIS)