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by april walloga
photographs by Galdones Photography | February 9, 2013 | Food & Drink
Nearest to the entrance of Cochon 555, which took place inside Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers, was Pig & Khao chef Leah Cohen's booth.
Cohen served a Filipino blood stew, crispy pork shank with green mango salad and liver sauce, fermented sausage lettuce wrap, and spicy chicharron.
In all, Robbins offered a square of testa (or head cheese), a liver-stuffed onion, a riff on ham and eggs, a ricotta-stuffed meatball that everyone was talking about, a bacon tortellini in broth, a hearty soup of pig's feet and skin, and sugary crisps dusted with dried blood, chilies, and spices.
In the center of the room, the Meat Hook's Sara Bigelow broke down heritage pigs with surgeon-like ease and precision.
Not that we'd recommend drinking and butchering, but had Bigelow needed a refreshment, six local mixologists were serving Breckenridge bourbon-spiked punch at a nearby booth.
The Cypress Grove goat's milk truffle tremor was a crowd favorite. Standing next to it you heard of a lot of, "I don't normally like goat cheese, but..." It was that good.
Over at Back Forty West chef Shanna Pacifico's table, there was a steaming hot feijoada with black beans, smoked ribs, pork belly, and sautéed kale. People went nuts for the cheesy bacon biscuits served alongside. Pacifico also had the genius idea of serving simply cooked strips of bacon.
Pork face nuggets were a big hit, too, at Pacifico's table.
Fresh off the opening of Krescendo, Elizabeth Falkner served the most indulgent bite of the night: lard biscuits with pork belly confit and a sweet and savory caponata.
Pork belly sizzled all through the night at Guarnaschelli's booth.
Falkner's full plate included the lard biscuit, a crispy chicharron, and a pasta made of rye, buckwheat, and barley that was tossed in a sauce of root vegetables, chilies, and bits of pork shoulder and butt.
Guests in pork overload snacked on beef tartare made by Matt Jennings, of Providence, Rhode Island's Farmstead restaurant.
There were also delicious oysters from Virginia's Rappahannock River Oysters.
The longest line of the night was for Alex Guarnaschelli's Chinese New Year feast, which boasted six tastings, including a dessert of lard fortune cookies, pig's feet lychee jellies, and frozen oranges with pig salt.
Seen here, Guarnaschelli's pork shoulder soup dumpling, pig's head and foot cake (topped with tangy mustard greens), roasted pork loin lettuce wrap, pig skin noodles, and "red-cooked" pork belly.
When the votes where tallied, Robbins took home the trophy—and the "Princess of Porc" title.
Here again, the chefs of the Cochon 555 fifth anniversary kick-off with Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe.
FROM LEFT: Alex Guarnaschelli, Elizabeth Falkner, Leah Cohen, Missy Robbins, Brady Lowe, and Shanna Pacifico
Five of New York’s best female chefs went head-to-head at this past Sunday’s Cochon 555 pork cooking competition. A ten-city tour that kicks off in New York and ends at Aspen's annual Food & Wine Classic, the event brought together five chefs, five heritage breed pigs, and five small batch wineries (as well as a few good bourbons and mezcals) for an evening of sustainable gluttony. This year’s chef lineup included Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter), Missy Robbins (A Voce), Shanna Pacifico (Back Forty West), Elizabeth Falkner (Krescendo), and Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao) creating small bite menus using the entirety of the animal—from nose to tail. Here’s a recap: