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Which Washington Chefs Are Cooking at Cochon 555 This Year?

Here is the lineup.

Mike Isabella hands out porky snacks at the 2012 Cochon 555 event in Washington. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

Five chefs, five dishes, five wine pairings—that’s the idea behind Cochon 555, a traveling pig-centric competition. In cities across America, chefs are challenged to make use of a whole heritage pig, and the winner at each stop goes on to compete at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. This year, the Washington leg of the tour happens on Sunday, April 7.

The 2013 competitors in Washington are: Mike Isabella (Graffiato, Bandolero); Proof and Estadio’s Haidair Karoum; Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley; Vidalia and Woodward Table chef-restaurateur Jeffrey Buben; and Bryan Voltaggio of Volt, Range, and Family Meal.

The ten-city tour marks its fifth anniversary in 2013. It’s typically a boozy good time (especially the after-party, where the chefs and industry insiders really unwind), but this year the organizers have upped the ante for the big birthday. Guests can now sample five bourbons, including Breckenridge and Four Roses; tipples from a Manhattan bar; or a mezcal tasting section with samples from Ilegal, Mezcales de Leyenda, and Fidencio. The VIP-ers find a little extra with a new cocktail competition among six local barkeeps, as well as early entry (which can be worth it, given the 400-deep crowd), access to more spirits, and, for the first time, a tartare bar. Other fun treats include a cheese bar, a butchery demo from Alleghany Meats, porky desserts, and Fernet Branca digestifs.

The venue is still being determined, though representatives confirm the event will be in the District. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $125 for general admission and $200 for VIP. Check out our pictures from last year, including one of crown pork prince Scott Drewno of the Source, for a preview of what to expect.

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