From Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2012, chefs and barbeque enthusiasts will fire up their smokers and sharpen their knives as they take over Memphis for a weekend of pork-themed events including eating challenges; tasting experiences; special dinners; a heritage pork pop-up restaurant; a 5.55k fun run; educational cheese and pairings seminars; and the Heritage BBQ main event – a friendly but competitive BBQ cook-off featuring a line-up of the country’s top chefs and their teams duking it out for pork glory. In addition to the chef talent, COCHON Heritage BBQ also brings together responsible farmers, craft distillers, breweries, prominent winemakers, established restaurateurs, and 1,000 members of the pig-loving public to support COCHON’s mission to promote heritage breed pigs through educational culinary experiences.
Chefs and butchers from around the country participating in the festivities over the holiday weekend include: Joshua Adams (June Restaurant), Joshua Applestone (Fleisher’s Grass Fed Meats), Craig Bell (Subzero Wolf), Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa/Toro), Jeff Bolton (Sage Restaurant Group’s Second Home), Aaron Brooks (Four Seasons Miami), Ryan Bruhan (Chez Philippe), Mac Edwards (The Elegant Farmer), Kelly English (Restaurant Iris), Will Gilson (Bridgestreet), Steven Grostick (Sage Restaurant Group’s Toasted Oak), Wally Joe (Acre), Harrison Keevil (Brookville Restaurant), Jackson Kramer (Interim), Ed Lee (610 Magnolia), Jonathan Magallenes (las Tortugas), Todd Mussman (Local Three / Muss and Turners), Mark & David Newman (Newman Farms Berkshire), Nookie Postal (Boston Red Sox), Tommy Searcy (Gum Creek Farms), Ben Smith (Tsunami), Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen), and Ryan Trimm (Sweet Grass and Next Door).
Friday, August 31
The weekend kicks off as local Memphis chefs team up with the visiting COCHON BBQ chefs and distillers for a series of intimate, 10-person dinners throughout the city and an exclusive private distillers’ reception – currently only available to All Access Weekend Pass holders. Those wanting to join the party can head to the Peabody Hotel for the Mixologist Rooftop Soiree & Taste of Memphis, featuring chefs from around the city, drinks, bites, and a bologna contest showcasing samplings from the nation’s finest chefs. From there, the night continues, and eventually ends, at Food Republic’s After Hours Brunch & Midnight Bourbon Toast.
Saturday, September 1
Celebrate Memphis, presented by FedEx, begins on Saturday morning with Laura Werlin’s 5.55k fun run, Allan Benton’s Heirloom Bloody Mary Tailgate, and Brady Lowe’s Man vs. BBQ eating challenge. The day closes with the Heritage BBQ Pop-Up Restaurant at Chef Ryan Trimm’s Sweet Grass and Next Door locales, a restaurant developed as a model to show diners what heritage restaurants can be. The pop-up dinner (all-inclusive) menu will spotlight the “Judge’s Plate,” plus a family style tasting menu inspired by local favorites paired with Elk Cove Vineyards, bourbon cocktails, and brews.
Sunday, September 2
Before the Heritage BBQ throw-down on Sunday afternoon, guests are invited to the Peabody Memphis Hotel for a variety of educational seminars. Cheese Expert Laura Werlin and Hospitality PR Maven Mary Wagstaff lead these dynamic and interactive seminars that focus on cheese, butchery, and wine. First, Laura partners with artisan cheese makers and special guests to showcase a wide array of fromage in “Craft American Cheese Selections.” Immediately following the morning tutorials, chefs, wine professionals, and mixologists will educate participants in the art of pairing wine with bold flavors and spices in "Perfect Pairings” with Mary Wagstaff, presented by The Commercial Appeal.
The true feast commences with the main event – the official COCHON Heritage BBQ. At this first-ever heritage breed BBQ cook-off, more than ten chef teams will delight hundreds of pig-loving guests with over-the-top pork preparations and tastings as they engage in a friendly cooking competition. The chef roster for the ultimate BBQ face-off includes: Joshua Adams (June Restaurant), Craig Bell (Subzero Wolf), Wally Joe (Acre), Ed Lee (610 Magnolia), Todd Mussman, Jay Swift, Nick Melvin, Tommy Searcy (Local Three / Muss and Turners), and Ryan Trimm (Sweet Grass and Next Door), all of whom will lead teams in this epic battle. More teams are expected to be added.
COCHON Heritage BBQ a la carte tickets for the weekend’s various events, ranging from $50-$200, are on sale now on the official Heritage BBQ website. Or, true pork fans can go hog wild with the All Access Weekend Pass for $500, an inclusive ticket to all of the weekend’s premier festivities.
To learn more about the event or for digital and print assets, visit the Heritage BBQ site or NationalBourbonMonth.com for more information.