Charles and I went to Cochon555 for the first time, and we loved it! The event is centered around 5 chefs from local restaurants who each prepare a heritage pig from nose to tail. The chefs compete against each other to win votes from the judges and attendees to become the Pork Prince or Princess. Cochon555 tours ten cities, and the winners from each city will go head to head at the Grand Cochon in Chicago on October 1st. Cochon555 has a lot more than pork – there are mixologists and winemakers competing too.
It’s a lighthearted and fun culinary event centered around pork and top notch wine and cocktails. It’s a pretty delightful way to spend a Sunday. I drag Charles to food events all the time, but I didn’t have to drag him to Cochon555 he was genuinely excited to attend! He said it was one of his favorite food events ever!
For me, a highlight of the event was getting to try the cocktails. We started by tasting The House of Angostura Punches that were created by Three Dots and a Dash – one of our favorite spots for cocktails in Chicago. I loved the mANGOSTURAberry Punch with mango and strawberry purees made by The Perfect Puree, Angostura 1919 Rum, pok pok pineapple drinking vinegar, lemon, pineapple, Li Hing Mui Rum, and tiki bitters.
Charles’s favorite was The Rains in Africa made with Angostura 7 Year Old Rum, darjeeling tea, lemon, pineapple, berbere infused simple syrup, tamarind perfect puree, and Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
The fine folks over at The House of Angostura asked me if I would like to judge the Punch Kings cocktail competition, and I excitedly agreed. See how seriously we all took the responsibility of being a judge?
The Punch Kings competition involved 5 Chicago mixologists who competed to create the best punch using Breckenridge Bourbon, The House of Angostura products, and additional ingredients of their choice. I was so impressed with every cocktail, and I loved that they were all completely different. Some were tart and citrusy, others were lighter and fruity. There wasn’t one that I didn’t like, and voting was a challenge!
I loved that Aria Accetta from Ronero Restaurant used iberco ham dust in her cocktail which she served from a giant swan shaped punch bowl.
The OOOU MOMMY punch created by Scott Kitsmiller from Freehand Chicago might have been my favorite.
This cocktail, the Chatham Artillery Punch, created by Piers Smyth from Roof on theWit was the winner! It had a nice balance of fruity and boozy flavors.
After judging Punch Kings, it was time to eat! I have never been to El Che – but they made two of my favorite bites at Cochon555. The first was a bite sized empanada filled with super tender pork.
And the second was a bacon chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich!
Even if you missed Cochon555 Chicago – you can make some of the cocktails featuring The House of Angostura products at home! Here are two of the recipes:
Queens Park Swizzle
2 oz Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
8 Mint Leaves
6-8 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Amaro Coffee Swizzle
1.5 oz Amaro di Angostura
1.5 oz Cold Brew Coffee
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
You can learn more about Cochon555 here. They are heading to Seattle, Houston, Snowmass, and Napa before the Grand Cochon in Chicago on October 1st.
This post was sponsored by The House of Angostura®. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Kittchen possible.