Cochon 555 2020


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 Cochon 555 is a “nose to tail” culinary event that covers nine cities on its U.S. tour. The organization was created in 2008 with a mission to support family farms and to educate buyers about heritage breed pigs. The signature event featured 5 chefs, 5 pigs, 5 winemakers in a friendly competition for a cause where the winner is crowned “Princess/Prince of Pork”. Sommeliers were on hand for a to pour wines and to participate in a Somm Smackdown.

The New York City leg of their tour was held on March 8th at the Altman Building event venue at 135 West 18th Street in Manhattan. The venue is a landmark building dating from 1896 and was the carriage house for the B. Altman department store.

This was one of the last events I was able to attend before the virus lockdown and fortunately it was one of those consumer events that had a good crowd enjoying a good mix of food, spirits and wine. They had oysters, cheese and steak tartare for those who were pork adverse though it seemed they didn’t get the logistics of the new venue down right, some of the lines for food were way too long and that was before general admittance was let in. But with a couple of floors of food, drink and music people were enjoying what was probably the last party that were able to attend.


Pig Island 2016

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This past Saturday afternoon, September 10th I attended the 7th annual Pig Island Porktacular BBQ festival.

Pig Island was created in 2010 to support New York pig farmers with hogs sourced directly from small farms. This year the pork was provided by Flying Pig Farms in Shushan New York.

The outdoor festival was held on the waterfront at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn which is surrounded with plenty of reminders of its industrial past with monolithic cranes and rotting piers.

Over 25 Chefs served pork-centric dishes for us to sample along with craft beer, artisan spirits and cider, and the beer and cider came in handy since this Saturday was brutally hot, with temperatures atypical for this time of year in the mid 90’s (34°). I have to give Kudos to the pitmasters who practiced their craft over a hot grill in these temperatures.



Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Fest 2016

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On June 8-12, Westchester Magazine held their 6th annual Wine & Food Festival . It was “five days of fun!” that included 100+ local restaurants, 200+ world class wines, dinner tastings, chefs demos and seminars.

The signature event of the festival was the Grand Tasting Village which was held on Saturday afternoon. It was an outdoor event held under tents that featured 50+ local restaurants and over 200 wines and spirits.

The event was held in the bucolic Westchester hamlet of Valhalla which is a 40 minute train ride north from Grand Central Terminal and then a ten minute walk from the train station to the Kensico Dam Plaza where the event was held.

I noticed there were more food vendors this year than last which made for some good eating to go with all the wines. I was able to get into the Connoisseur tent which was a separate area that poured some extra special juice. Unlike many other food events, the crowds were much more manageable at this event which meant that lines for food and wine were comparatively short and that made for an enjoyable experience. Overall, this is one of the best wine and food events of the year.

Some of the wines I sampled:


NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc (Champagne)

2015 Chateau Minuty “Rosé et Or” Rosé (Provence)

2015 Domaine Ott “Clos Mireille” Rosé (Provence)

2015 Chateau du Ronet Rosé (Provence)

2013 Merry-Edwards Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley)

2012 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc (Knights Valley)

2014 Flowers Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)

2013 Jean-Louis Chavey Pugliny-Montrachet (Burgundy)

2011 Aurelie Verdet Morey St-Denis (Burgundy)

2012 Domaine Antonin Guyon “Les Cras” Chambolle-Musigny (Burgundy)

2012 Angela Estate Pinot Noir “Abbott Claim” (Yamhill)

2014 Angeline Estate Pinot Noir “Reserve” (California)

2013 Truchard Pinot Noir (Carneros)

2011 Pio Cesare Barberesco (Piedmont)

2010 Castigilon Del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)

2012 Mt Brave Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt Veeder)

2010 Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon “Audentia” (Stags Leap District)

2012 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Private Reserve” (Napa Valley)

2012 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2011 Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)

2013 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2012 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Rutherford” (Napa Valley)




Pig Island NYC 2015

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As the Summer is winding down, the trade tasting season is starting to heat up. That’s when the various wine and spirits importers, distributors and trade associations hold their portfolio or specialized wines and spirits tastings. There are plenty of consumer events as well. This Saturday I attended the 6th annual Pig Island pork Bacchanalia. Over 20 area Chefs created dishes using hogs raised by Flying Pigs Farms, a farm in Washington county upstate New York that raises heritage breeds of pigs. New York State declared Pig Island a “Taste NY” event for their commitment to support New York farms. Of course as well as the swine, the event had on hand beer, wine, cider and local and regional spirits.

The event was held next door to an IKEA mega-store at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook Brooklyn. The park is in a remote area of the borough surrounded by the rusting and decaying remnants of its waterfront past which made for a dramatic backdrop to the festival.

At the Beaujolais tent:

2014 Domaine Romy Rosé

2013 Chateau de Lacarelle Beaujolais Blanc Cuvée Grande Reserve

2011 Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages

2013 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages

2013 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour

2013 Chateau du Châtelard Moulin-a-Vent

Local and Rum & Whiskey:

Van Brunt Stillhouse

Widow Jane Distillery

Hudson Whiskey


DownEast Cider

Original Sin



Chefs & Champagne 2015

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On Saturday, July 25th I attended the James Beard Foundation’s 25th annual Chefs & Champagne foodie event which this year honored Chef and cookbook author Carla Hall.

The event was held at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, on the South Fork of Long Island.

It was a gorgeous day with Chefs from over 40 restaurants cooking their specialty dishes served with free-flowing champagne from Tattinger, wines from Wöllffer Estate, beer from Belgium and vodka from Tito’s. And with an appearance from Miss USA, it was enjoyable day out in the Hampton’s.

I spent the day with a flute or two of Tattinger Brut La Francaise NV in my hand and sampling dishes prepared by these Chefs:

Noah Schwartz: Oysters with Soy mignonette and micro wasabi.

Titti Qvarnström: Allerum präst quiche with elderberry pickled green strawberries, kavring crumble and east end pea sprouts.

Jamie Leeds: Grilled oysters.

Marc Anthony Bynum: Octopus with yellow eye beans, picholine olives, tomatoes, lemon balsamic and paprika oil.

Georges Mendes: Portuguese fossil farms pork cutlet sandwich with piri-piri.

Jason Weiner: Smoked duck breast with silver queen corn and white miso.

Todd Mitgang: Local scallop tartare with black garlic, white soy and marinated broccoli.

Patti Jackson: House smoked bluefish pate with radish salad.

A.J. Schaller: Crab cakes with tomato jam and castelvetrano olives.

Christopher Lavey: Tomato sweet pepper gazpacho with grilled chanterelle and purple basil.

Shannon Shafer: Smoked pork belly with braised cabbage and mustard cream.

Leah Cohen: Chilled thai coconut lemongrass soup with shrimp.

Nick Wallace: Mississippi candy striped beets with preserved goat cheese and Mississippi honeycomb.

Harold Moore: Beer can fossil farms chicken.

Michael Vignola: Barrel smoked aged new york strip with sunchoke salad and sunflower sprouts.

Anthony Bucco: Barnegat lighthouse fluke with smoked yogurt, compressed peaches and pickled blueberries.  

Amanda Cohen: Tomato tarts with smoked feta.

Michael Ferraro: Fennel pollen dusted gulf shrimp with charred corn salad, tomato confit and smoked chili oil.

Harvest Restaurant: Vermont pork with watermelon, peaches, labneh and basil.