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Female Chefs Compete in Snout-to-Tail Pig-Cooking Contest at Chelsea Piers

By Mathew Katz | February 5, 2013 7:28am

CHELSEA — Move over, Morimoto — this cooking contest is for ladies only.

A quintet of female chefs from restaurants around the city will get a shot at pork stardom, in an epic battle to create the best snout-to-tail meal at Chelsea Piers this weekend.

The fifth-annual Cochon 555 tournament challenges the five local chefs to cook up five whole heritage-breed pigs and pair them with drinks from five wineries.

This year's all-female lineup of chefs include Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter and The Darby, Missy Robbins of A Voce, Shanna Pacifico of Back Forty West, Elizabeth Falkner of Krescendo and Leah Cohen of Pig and Khao.

Each chef will prepare a meal using every part of a 200-pound, family-raised pig, which lucky guests — who shell out $125 apiece for a ticket — will get the chance to sample.  

The chef who brings home the bacon will go on to join champions from nine other cities at the Grand Cochon, a national pig-cooking competition at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in June.

Cochon aims to celebrate and educate the public about heritage-breed pigs, which come from bloodlines going back hundreds of years and typically have an open-pasture lifestyle. The group says that makes their meat richer, heartier and marbled with creamy fat.

If that's not enough to sate your pork-atite, Chef Sue Torres of Suenos will cook a sixth pig — barbecue style — after the competition. The evening will end with a butcher demonstration by Sara Bigelow of Williamsburg's Meat Hook.

Guests will also be able to try wines from five small, family-owned wineries. VIP ticketholders will be able to try the fruits of the "Punch Kings" cocktail-mixing competition as well, featuring local bartenders whipping up drinks made with Breckenridge Bourbon. 

A full cheese sampling bar, oysters from the Rappahannock River and pork-spiked desserts will round out the foodstravaganza — along with a photo booth to show off the best bite of the day.

Cochon 555 kicks off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Chelsea Piers' Pier 60, West 23rd Street and the West Side Highway. Tickets are available online for $125 for general admission or $200 for VIP access.