A few weeks ago, over 3,500 pounds of heritage breed animals were cooked over live fires by fifty top chefs at Cochon 555's Heritage Fire Napa. The event took place at the beautiful Charles Krug Winery in St Helena.
My super awesome friend Ben of Focus Snap Eat was invited as a media guest and he took me along for the journey. For three hours, we ate a ridiculous amount of heritage breed meats and washed it all down with the best local wine and craft brews.
There's no other food event that I've been more excited about to attend than Heritage Fire. I am a supporter of the movement that this event stands for. When given the choice, I will pick a heritage breed over commercial breed of livestock any day. Heritage breeds are raised on open pasture, free of antibiotics and growth hormones. It's an important part of our food ecosystem that results in diversity of quality and taste.
Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe is the man behind this incredible movement to shine the gastronomic spotlight on the farms who are raising heritage breed animals and the emerging chefs and restaurants who highlight them in their dishes. The core mission of Cochon 555 is to drive awareness and demand for these products so it encourages farmers and ranchers to breed more animals to meet demand for their products.
Check out the photos below for a recap of my experience at Heritage Fire Napa 2016.
It was really cool to see all the different techniques used to cook these animals whole. I have much respect and admiration for this method of cooking. It ain't easy and requires a lot of attention and time to tend to to the fire.
Tony greeted me with a warm hug and then he pulled out this beautiful house-cured prosciutto and starts slicing into it, check out the video below. It tasted just as beautiful as it looked and washes down extremely well with a glass of Del Dotto's jammy and full-bodied pinot noir. Give me a lounge chair and I could have easily spent all three hours here.
My favorite bite out of the entire evening was Tony's mangalitsa lardo with peach and shaved truffle. I had so many of these velvety bites that even my water eventually tasted like lardo. Tony's charcuterie is truly unforgettable. I am definitely making a reservation at Del Dotto in the near future.
Northern Thai rabbit sausage with little gems, nam prik, and roasted peanuts by Chef Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Shuman of Ramen Gaijin.
Cochon 555 puts up events across the nation, check out their events here: http://cochon555.com/
Thanks for having us as your guests, Brady and the Cochon 555 team!