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.