Cochon 555 Comes to the Viceroy in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 29

Prosciutto di Parma

Prosciutto di Parma at Cochon 555


Cochon 555 comes back to Los Angeles March 27-29. The food competition has been touring the country picking chef winners to compete in the finals where they will be crowned the King or Queen of Porc in a competition in Snowmass/Aspen in June.

There are dinners on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 29 at BS Taqueria in Downtown Los Angeles but the competition and main event is on Sunday, March 29 at the Viceroy in Santa Monica. The five LA chefs competing are Tony DiSalvo of CAST at the Viceroy (the host hotel and location of the event), Walter Manzke of Republique, Kris Morningstar of Terrine, Steven Fretz of Church Key and Ricardo Zarate who’s currently heading up his own catering company. Each chef is given a heritage pig and will prepare a maximum of 6 dishes for the crowd and judges.

One of the judges is Chef Ray Garcia of the soon-to-be-open Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria. He won last year’s title of King of Porc. 

Chef Tony DiSalvo, Cast at the Viceroy

Chef Tony DiSalvo, Cast at the Viceroy

I’m very excited to see what Chef Tony DiSalvo is up to. I last saw him at my bartending class final. He occasionally took classes from my teacher as well.


Walter Manzke of Republique

Walter Manzke with the Republique team at last year’s Cochon 555


Last year Chef Walter Manzke of Republique handed out pork tartare topped with uni. And he wasn’t even competing! Let’s see what he does this year.

Kris Morningstar of Terrine- the delectable charcuterie

Kris Morningstar of Terrine- the delectable charcuterie


I would be very surprised if Chef Kris Morningstar doesn’t do charcuterie, look at that handsome platter from Terrine.

Chef Steven Fretz of Church Key

Chef Steven Fretz of Church Key at last year’s LA Food and Wine


Chef Steven Fretz of Church Key is sure to bring some flair and color to the competition. Expect some theatrics. I would love to see his brand of American style dim sum at Cochon 555.

Chef Ricardo Zarate's pork ribs

Chef Ricardo Zarate’s pork ribs


Chef Ricardo Zarate has been quiet in the LA food scene lately. We last heard he was out of his trio of spots; Mo-Chica, Picca and Paiche. There’s going to be a lot of curiosity about his dishes. I normally associate him with seafood (very Peruvian) but I recall he does have a way with meat including duck, steak and of course, pork. His pork ribs at Picca were definitely a fave of mine.

Besides a plethora of pork dishes, there’ll be cheese from DTLA Cheese, oysters, caviar and more! Like last year, the pop-up butcher shop with live butchering is sure to be one of the highlights of the event. Some of the proceeds of the popup butcher shop will benefit culinary students.

To go with all the amazing food, there will be wine tastings from Wines of Germany and St. Francis Winery as well as a welcome drink from Buffalo Trace. Plus, check out the Manhattan Experience where you can try Manhattan cocktails made with Whistle Pig rye, Eagle Rare, Breckenridge and/or Hirsch. Like like year, the Punch Kings competition will feature some of the best bartenders around town. And at the Mezcal Chupito Bar, get a tasting of the mezcal but also enter to win a trip to Mexico.

All guests are invited to the after-party at CAST after the event and winner is announced.

Check out my recap from last year’s event.

Cochon 555

Sunday, March 29 at the Viceroy  — TICKETS

$125 General Admission (admission at 5 p.m.)

$200 VIP (admission at 4 p.m.)

1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401 


© The Minty  2015