Cochon555 Announces Competing Chef Lineup for it's 2019 Banff Stop

With an all-star cast of chefs who specialize in whole animal cooking paired with farmers responsibly raising delicious heritage breed pigs, Cochon555 returns to Banff on Saturday, April 6. The all-inclusive feast will feature expertly-crafted creations and specialist produce of a hundred-plus of the region’s most talented chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and mixologists, all working in concert to serve up luxurious tastes that also educate the palate.
 
Cochon555 is proud to announce this year’s group of cutting-edge local chefs, each cooking one whole heritage breed pig raised by a family farm. This year’s culinary lineup features only chefs from Banff and Lake Louise food establishments; Christian Gosselin of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Scott Hergott of Sky Bistro, JF Fortin of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel, Chris Thomson of La Terrazza, and Rory Germain of Saltlik.
 
One week before the event, each chef receives a 200-pound heritage breed pig sustainably sourced from family farms to create a maximum of six dishes for competition. To win, a chef’s menu must impress 14 celebrity judges with their “Judge’s Plate,” scored on utilization, technique, and overall flavour - and be voted “best bite of the day” by Cochon555 guests. The winning “Prince or Princess of Pork” of Banff National Park will advance to Grand Cochon, the national finale in Chicago on September 15, 2019.
 
With dozens of bites from the participating local chefs, boutique distillers, and artisan winemakers, the event is akin to an epic tasting menu of heritage breed pork with endless beverage pairings.  Tickets for the main event are already limited, with individual tickets now sold out.  General Admission and VIP event access is available via select hotel packages - visit www.banfflakelouise.com/cochon555 for further details.
 
Presented by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, Cochon555 Banff is the only Canadian stop on the tour that goes through Dallas, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and more.  Held at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Cochon555’s head-to-head culinary contest will be complemented with special food events happening all weekend around Banff and Lake Louise.
 
Brand new for 2019 - and a unique, signature addition to Cochon555 Banff - will be the ticketed, collaborative long table dinners held on Friday, April 5. Presented by incredible local chefs, paired with guest chefs such as Anita Lo (Top Chef Master, Chopped: All Stars, Iron Chef) and Darren MacLean (The Final Table), these intimate dining events are guaranteed to be a tantalizing tasting experience for foodies. On Sunday, April 7, visitors will be able to attend one of several special brunch events to round out their perfect foodie weekend.
 
“We’re incredibly excited to return to Banff during our 2019 tour,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe.
 
“The tour is about uplifting small, family farmers through epic culinary moments. We create and restore connections between the farmer and chef who want to raise, source and serve food with purpose and passion. Together, through eating, we become stewards of the good food movement, motivating change and celebrating ‘landscapers' who lead us to a safer and more delicious future.”
 
At its heart, Cochon555 aims to create moments of inspiration, a deeper connection to food, and engender discussion and action - to buy, cook, and enjoy safe, honest, and delicious produce. For an in-depth look at the Cochon555 movement, watch the overview video.
 
Additionally, running in tandem are two satellite beverage competitions to complement the whole-animal tilt; Punch Kings, a whole bottle, large-format spirit competition featuring five top barkeeps in a hand-crafted punch challenge and Somm Smackdown, a face-off of five top sommeliers pairing the best wine with heritage pig.
 
Where:       BANFF – Fairmont Banff Springs
                    405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4, Canada
When:        Saturday, April 6, 2019
Time:          4:00 p.m. for VIP entry; 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. for General Admission
 
For more details on the Cochon555 Culinary Weekend, please visit
https://www.banfflakelouise.com/cochon555
 
At the April 6 main event, dishes for the competition are just the beginning -- all in, we’re talking about 1,000 pounds of responsibly raised heritage breed pork and delicious drinks from some of the finest drinks’ establishments in Banff and Lake Louise.
Start the event by exploring the signature cheese bar, the VIP Oyster Bar or the tartare bar. Browse and taste the incredible dishes prepared by the competing chefs, all highlighting regionally produced ingredients. Vote on your favourite and then finish off with sweets from the indulgent dessert bar. Placing the spotlight on “knowing where your food comes from,” the event will feature an educational whole animal butchery program called the Pop-Up Butcher Shop and a Silent Auction with gifts from chefs, sponsors and John Boos & Co., to benefit charity.
The ultimate aim of Cochon555 is to educate chefs and consumers on heritage breed pigs and to create an experience that showcases honest food from real farmers. Through education, the goal is to raise the bar on building a sustainable and profitable relationship for brands and chefs participating in culinary festivals.
 
About the Chefs

JF Fortin - Fairview Restaurant & Bar | Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Born and raised in Quebec, Chef Fortin brings a unique Quebec flair, passion for good food and culinary innovation to Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. With a passion for providing guests with an authentically local and sustainable dining experience, Chef Fortin aspires to build strong relationships with regional farmers, artisans, and purveyors.


Rory Germain - Saltlik
Starting his career in New Zealand, Chef Germain honed his culinary skills overseas before moving to western Canada and working for several top restaurants in Ontario. After hearing about the culinary excitement growing in Banff, he relocated to the Rocky Mountains to work at Saltlik. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to competitive cooking and participate in the Cochon555 culinary competition.


Christian Gosselin - 1888 Chop House | Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
With over 20 years of culinary experience, serving the past 4 years as Executive Sous Chef of Fairmont Banff Springs, Chef Gosselin oversees 11 restaurants including 1888 Chop House. His childhood growing up on a farm developed an admiration for local farmers and the animals they raise which is showcased in every menu he creates.


Scott Hergott - Sky Bistro | Banff Gondola
Chef Hergott, an Ontario native, started his career in Banff at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where he worked his way through several outlets over 18 years. In 2018, Cher Hergott became the Executive Chef at the Banff Gondola where he has created a new culinary experience at Sky Bistro and Northern Lights. 


Chris Thomson - La Terrazza | Banff Park Lodge
Chef Thomson has built a solid 25-year culinary career at the Rimrock Resort, Delta Bow Valley in Calgary, Delta Lodge in Kananaskis, and most recently at the helm of the Banff Park Lodge culinary team. He is no stranger to culinary competitions having competed in the World Culinary Olympics and Global Chefs Challenge. He has a passion for implementing a farm-to-fork philosophy and is excited to reignite his competitive zeal and bring this experience to the Cochon555 competition.

About the Cochon555 Tour
The Cochon555 Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through an innovative nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 14 major cities in North America annually. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions and cultivates a long-term impact for heritage species. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and culinary schools each year. Since 2009, 108,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork for the first time, more than $1,100,000 has been donated to charities, and over $1,200,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. For more information, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.
 
About Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Banff and Lake Louise offers incredible experiences that reconnect people to the natural world. Situated in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park, within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, accessible year-round adventure and wellness is cultivated every day of the year by visitors from across the globe. Home to three ski resorts, countless glacier fed lakes, two vibrant town sites, and authentic Canadian culture and cuisine, this place is unforgettable, and it’s truly Alive. For more information visit www.banfflakelouise.com
 
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E: kym@paperroad.co
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