Executive chef Annie Pettry and her team from Decca bested four other teams of top Louisville chefs to win Cochon 555 at 21c Museum Hotel last night. About 300 live Louisvillians and five dead hogs attended the event.
An unofficial polling of the judges had Pettry and Decca almost a unanimous top choice.
In addition to the chefs and folks connected with the competing restaurants, in attendance were Mayor Greg Fischer, 21c owners Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, the Exchange Pub + Kitchen's Ian Hall, Silver Dollar and El Camino's Larry Rice, bourbon author Fred Minick, Forecastle Festival's J.K. McKnight, Louisville Courier-Journal restaurant reporter Dana McMahan, Against the Grain's Sam Cruz and Jerry Gnagy, The Bourbon Review's Seth Thompson, Main Street Cafe's Laurence Agnew, Feast BBQ's Ryan Rogers, Mayan Café's Bruce Ucan, Louisville Farm to Table coordinator Sarah Fritschner, Four Roses' Patrick Stewart, Blackberry Farm's Michael Sullivan, the Bristol's Bill Lynch, Blue Dog's Bob Hancock, Lily's Bistro's David Scales and the Brown Hotel's Laurent Geroli.
Food Network Star champ Damaris Phillips was there to eat, not cook, but left early to attend a fundraiser for Boys & Girls Haven. Phillips didn't comment on the rumors about her upcoming show filming in Louisville or airing on Sunday mornings, but that's in part because we forgot to ask (damn it!).
For Proof on Main executive chef Levon Wallace and judge Anthony Lamas, chef/owner of Seviche: A Latin Restaurant Cochon, 555 was a family affair. Wallace's kids were working Proof's booth while Lamas was getting led through the crowd by his sons.
New LEO Weekly food writer, Colette Henderson shared that when she took the gig, LEO editors mentioned that now her work might get ribbed by Eater. Why...oh, wait. Never mind.
While they were on the promotional material, neither Edward Lee nor Kevin Ashworth of MilkWood attendedEdward Lee left early and Kevin Ashworth remained at MilkWood. So 610 Magnolia's Nick Sullivan manned that MilkWood's table, which was the most ill-situated of the five competitors, kind of evoking Gerry and Cookie Fleck's hotel room in Best in Show.
Insider Louisville's Steve Coomes choked on a sip of water and spit it out on an unidentified Jefferson Community and Technical College chef. Coomes appeared alright afterwards. What happened to the chef is unknown at press time.
Pettry had named her pig Rita.
At the event, Lowe announced that $500 was raised last night for JCTC via its butcher shop and prize wheel. The next day, the PR firm representing Cochon said, "Approximately $38,000 was raised for farms and culinary schools at the Cochon Heritage BBQ events in Memphis, St. Louis and Louisville through the pop-up butcher shop and chefs cooking heritage breed pigs from family farms in the competition."
The after-party, conveniently located at Proof on Main, drew a packed house. The only vacant barstool was the one that came crashing to the ground.
While the inquirer appeared to be a hotel guest and not a Cochon 555 attendee, Proof's lack of energy drinks left one patron looking for alternatives: "Do you have any cocaine?" he asked a stranger on the barstool next to him. "They don't have Red Bull here." Sadly, no cocaine appeared to be available.
·Cochon Heritage BBQ party challenges competing chefs, dazzles eating guests [Insider Louisville]
·Local chefs teach sustainability, eating locally [WHAS 11]
[Photos: Galdones Photography for Cochon Heritage BBQ]