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Chad Colby of Mozza Wins LA's Edition of Cochon 555

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Five heritage breed pigs, five chefs, and five winemakers graced downtown's Vibiana Cathedral yesterday late afternoon to celebrate all things swine. Octavio Becerra (Palate Food + Wine), Chad Colby (Mozza), Tim Goodell (Public Kitchen + Bar), Ben Ford (Ford's Filling Station), and Joshua Whigham (The Bazaar) were each presented with different heirloom, heritage-breed pigs weighing between 175 to 200 pounds in which they were asked to prepare five courses (although many chefs cooked more than five) using the entire pig from feet to skin to blood.

Eater was asked to judge the competition alongside 19 other foodies and pork enthusiasts, so we were mostly sequestered to the judging room where each chef presented us with his dishes and discussed his pigtastic vision. Michael Sullivan aka The Reverend of Fat helped serve a few courses before slipping back out to chat with the crowd of 400 in Vibiana's main atrium.

Amongst the judging panel was Mr. Jonathan Gold, Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada of Lindy & Grundy’s, Neal Fraser of BLD (who we overheard saying that he still has not yet signed his Vibiana lease), Mike McCarty of Michael’s restaurant who spent much of the event chatting with The Goldster, and then a few randoms, Jonny Lieberman of Motor Trend magazine, and Craig Wormley who was listed as "Lawyer." Mmmk.

The Goldster broke the silence at the judges table by complimenting Amelia Posada on her necklace (it was a wedding gift), meanwhile everyone took advantage of the generous allocation of red and white vino provided by Scholium Project, Alysian, Arnot-Roberts, Copain Wines, and Red Car Wine.

For the most part, the judges seemed to be most pleased with plates provided by Joshua Whigham from The Bazaar who got extra points for presentation, from his liver cone to a mini brown bag with Cracklin' Jacks (too bad they were stale) -- his take on Cracker Jacks but made with chicharones, and the plates served by Mozza chef Chad Colby. An impressive array of charcuterie, terrines, plus a great confit pork rib. However, anyone that has attended any of Nancy Silverton's family-style pork dinners offered in the private dining room at the Scuola, would have recognized some of these preparations.

After assessing each chef's edibles, judges ranked the plates based on presentation, pig utilization, and overall best flavor on a scale of 1-5. A bottle of Templeton Rye was passed around the table, then the judges began to slowly filter out to the main event.

Around 7:30PM, Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe jumped on stage to announce that Chad Colby had won LA's Cochon 555 and that he would go on to complete in Cochon's grand tasting event this June at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. We also learned that another edition of Cochon 555 was slated to take place in Vegas, so stay tuned for details on that.

Public held a rather tame after party. Chefs took over most of Public's oversized round booths, and despite the enormous amount of food consumed at Cochon, many took advantage of restaurant's specially priced food and drink menu, $5.55 for a slew of small plates and cocktails. The End.
·All Cochon 555 Coverage [~ELA~]

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