Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa and Toro in Boston was the winner of the fourth annual Cochon 555 Boston competition. The event, held this year at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Boston was even more over-the-top than years past with a packed ballroom of people eating outstanding pork dishes from Bissonnette along with the four other competitors, Chefs Barbara Lynch and Colin Lynch of Menton, Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother, Tim Cushman of O Ya and Steve Postal of Fenway Park.
To underscore how Cochon 555 brings out the best competitors, last week Chefs Bissonette and Cushman were named James Beard Foundation award finalists for Best Chef: Northeast. One of Chef Lynch’s other restaurants in her Barbara Lynch Gruppo, No. 9 Park, is a finalist for the Beard Foundation Awards’ Outstanding Wine Program. Also at the Cochon 555 Boston event was a third Beard Foundation Award Best Chef: Northeast nominee, Chef Matt Jennings of Farmstead & La Laiterie. This was the first year that Providence, Rhode Island favorite Jennings did not compete in the Cochon 555, having won all three of the previous Boston events. Jennings was on hand as part of the Le Creuset challenge.
Cochon is the brainchild of Brady Lowe who now hosts fourteen culinary events around the United States each year with the goal of supporting sustainable agriculture. The journey begins every January when Cochon 555 embarks on a 10-city culinary competition and tasting tour. Fifty chefs are selected to prepare a “snout -to-tail” menu created from heritage breed pigs. The ten local winners are flown to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen for the final competition, Grand Cochon. Three other national events—Cochon All-Star, Cochon Heritage Fire and a BBQ competition—bring even bigger voices to the cause of whole animal utilization.
As the winner, Bissonnette will now compete in Aspen, Colorado at the Grand Cochon U.S. Tour Finale during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Congratulations to Chef Bissonnette and his entire team. Good luck in Aspen. Below is a selection of fifteen photographs highlighting tonight’s event. You can view posts and photos from previous years here.