Cochon 555 Miami at Four Seasons Hotel: A Pignificant Way to Celebrate Pork
|Leftover's...the skull of the winning pig, a Hereford from Palmetto Creek Farms.|
These chefs delivered complex, well-thought-out variations on pork everything in what turned out to be a serious competition among some of Florida's top toques: Michelle Bernstein (Michy's, Sra. Martinez, Crumb on Parchment), Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Harry's Pizzeria), Aaron Brooks (Edge Steak & Bar), James Petrakis (Ravenous Pig), and James Strine (Cafe Boulud). Each chef received a different piggie, ranging from Hereford to Berkshire. The focus was on farmers -- Cochon 555 hopes to promote awareness of the need for a more "natural, sustainable food system."
The judges' scorecards (all 20) included utilization (how did they use the pig?), presentation (how did they dress up the pig?) and flavor (how did the pig taste?). It seemed that all pig parts were present and accounted for, from chicharrones to chorizo-wrapped lomo to braised belly.
Expert butchery met culinary creativity, and what was the outcome? The populace claimed 51 percent of the vote, and the winner is...
Michelle Bernstein, whose "PB & J" was slathered with whipped lard "jelly" and liver pâté. She also served up a nose-to-tail croqueta with a filling of snout, shoulder, rib, belly, butt, feet, and skin.
|Michelle Bernstein's pork-stock custard with consomme, porchetta raviolil, grilled pig heart, and "hopped up" sundae with bacon and fatback caramel.|
|James Strine, from Café Boulud in Palm Beach, worked with a Large Black from Black Hill Ranch.|
|Strine's petite choucroute included knackwurst and belly, a Vietnamese consomme with shrimp and pork meatballs and shaved flank, milk-braised shoulder, and herbed lardo-wrapped white asparagus.|