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COCHON 555’s Heritage BBQ 

Wednesday, Sep 9 2015

Fans of all that is porcine have reason to celebrate.

COCHON 555's Heritage BBQ competition tour, promoting heritage breed pigs and global grilling cultures, will take place Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Magnolia Brewery in the Dogpatch.As the flagship COCHON 555 event—often held in Napa — is well-known, this is a pleasant development for S.F. peeps who don't want to travel.

"This is the first year COCHON 555 will be hosting Heritage BBQ in San Francisco," cofounder Brady Lowe told SF Weekly.

Here's the lowdown: Five chefs have seven days to prepare one whole, 180-pound, family farm-raised, heritage pig and present six dishes to 20 notable judges. They're scored on utilization, global influences, techniques, and (of course) flavor. Well-regarded chefs such as Dennis Lee of Smokestack/Namu Gaji, Geoff Davis of The Dock, Michael Rafidi of RN74, Nicolai Lipscomb of The Battery, and John Madriaga of Spruce will all be there.

But what about us regular folks (a.k.a. non-judges) attending the event? In addition to sampling the competitors' dishes, attendees have access to "BBQ Traditions," a tasting where 10 chefs prepare one dish from their favorite BBQ culture, including churrasco, Korean BBQ, char siu, barbacoa, and more.

SF Weekly asked Lowe why event organizers decided to hold Heritage BBQ in San Francisco.

"San Francisco is a great market of socially conscious people, a demographic we truly identify with because our mission is to support local farmers," says Lowe. "The event spotlights local farms and celebrates grilling styles from around the world. At Heritage BBQ, we are promoting a 'decision to support local' message that we hope will educate today's influencers and ultimately travel to our youth, who are yet to make decisions about their own food."

The stand-up tasting event features 1,400-plus pounds of heritage pig, pop-ups, premium wines, artisan cheese, sustainable seafood, handcrafted spirits, and a pretty big selection of whiskies, ryes, and bourbon. And according to Lowe, there's also a do-gooder component.

"With the launch of our new charity, Piggy Bank, we couldn't pick a better city to launch our new cause and message that family farms are still the minority group that needs our support. We love the handcrafted movement and we needed a market to kick off the Heritage BBQ five-city tour, with the hopes they will be really receptive to the flavors, the charity, and the cause," Lowe says.

To quote from the movie Babe: "That'll do pig, that'll do."


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Roger Park


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