Show 213, March 4, 2017: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & Cochon 555 L.A. Competitor

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaCochon555 is a national culinary competition for a cause in support of safe, honest foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs. The Los Angeles edition of the event takes place on March 12, at Viceroy Santa Monica. Among the five competing local chefs is Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union (Farmhouse Italian Fare) & Knead & Co. at Grand Central Market.

At the center of Cochon555 is a cook-off featuring five chefs cooking five whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative techniques and bold flavor profiles. One week before the event, the five competing chefs receive a 200-pound heritage breed pig from a local farmer. They are each tasked to create and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on categories such as utilization; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. The winner from each city is crowned the “Prince of Porc,” and given a place at Cochon’s national championship, Grand Cochon, to be held in Chicago during October 2017. This year, Chef Larry Monaco of Viceroy Santa Monica’s CAST Restaurant will lead the judging.

Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes – all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork from family farms – guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery featuring La Brea; a Reserve Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina paired with wines from Nielson; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy wines from Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; wines from Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars paired with bites prepared by Chef Dominic Orsini and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets $400 (includes a multi-course charity dinner prepared by 3 celebrity chefs on Saturday night; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity). You can purchase tickets right here.

Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is our guest along with Cochon 555’s Communications Director, Robert McKeown.


Show 163, March 12, 2016: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555 Tour

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555COCHON555 Los Angeles is set for Sunday, March 13th at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. It’s 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers, and 5 Pigs. Experience this must-see, annual pork-centric culinary competition as part of the L.A. stop of the extensive national tour. It’s five high-profile chefs cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs.

This year’s competing chefs include Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Bruce Kalman of Union, Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe, Brooke Williamson of The Tripel and returning champion Walter Manzke of Republique.

The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. In addition to the 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs, guests will feast on educational experiences featuring boutique wines and culinary cocktails paired with delicious bites.

The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Prince of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King or Queen of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th.

Cochon’s founder, Brady Lowe, joins us with all the porkalicious details.


Show 136, August 29, 2015: Russ Parsons, Los Angeles Times, The Taste

Russ Parsons of the Los Angeles TimesRuss Parsons is a veteran food writer and columnist for The Los Angeles Times as well as an award-winning cookbook author. He was previously the Food Section Editor for a number of years. As part of the upcoming Los Angeles Times The Taste, Russ is co-hosting the Saturday morning, September 5th program, “Field to Fork.”

“California’s bounty of fresh produce inspires this homage to seasonal cooking, punctuated with engaging demos from Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery), and Niki Nakayama (n/naka). In addition to offering a glimpse into these locally-inspired perspectives, the event will feature a roundtable moderated by Parsons that examines the rise of the “root-to-stem” philosophy with Gary Menes (Le Comptoir), Bruce Kalman (Union), and Ari Taylor (Alma).”

Russ Parsons is our guest to provide the details.


Show 71, May 3, 2014: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena

Nan KohlerNan Kohler is the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An urban Flour Mill in Pasadena. She has extensive background in baking.

Nan discusses her take on celiac disease and the growing need for gluten-free products.

On Sunday, May 4th Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is cooking a dinner in conjunction with Grist & Toll. Union uses many of their products including their polenta which is a favorite of Chef Jet’s.

Chef Kalman will incorporate Grist & Toll’s whole-grain milled fresh flours into five courses. The price is $85 per guest.