Winfield Mangalitsa goes to LA – COCHON 555
Spring is always a busy time at Winfield Farm – and this year is proving to be busier than usual. Besides tending the new crop of Manga piglets, moving (and rebuilding) fence, herding pigs to new pastures, (praying for rain!), we’re ramping up our marketing efforts, with exciting new prospects – many in the City of Angels!
This spring we entered a 200-pound Mangalitsa pig into the Cochon 555 event in LA, which took place at the exclusive Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica on Sunday March 13.
Cochon is a national competition conducted in 10 locations across the country, where five chefs each create six nose-to-tail bites, to be judged by an elite panel. Our partner in this venture was executive chef Jason Neroni from the Rose Café, the iconic restaurant in the heart of Venice Beach, California that has served locals and travelers alike since 1979. Chef Jason’s menu focuses on local Southern California cuisine with an international influence from his world travels – which included an invitation from the country of Spain to serve as a culinary ambassador, where he worked alongside some of Spain’s best chefs. Spain’s interest in Hungarian Mangalitsa pigs, ranked with Spanish Iberico as the only black-footed hogs allowed to be labeled ‘pata negra’, was instrumental in saving Mangalitsas from extinction. Chef Jason knows all about Mangalitsas — so he was the perfect partner for our Hungarian wooly pig.
Chef Jason’s menu for Cochon is a statement to his creativity – and his skill in displaying the rich flavor profile of Mangalitsa pork:
Testa pastrami and taleggio croissant / deli pickles (delicious)
Roasted pork meatballs (amazing!) / smoked burrata, chicarones (melt in your mouth crispy), tomato marmalade
Lasagna / fennel and pork sugo, porcini jus (in the opinion of many, the best bite in the competition!)
Buerre de jamon / blood butter, shaved prosciutto cotto and lomo, demi baguette (sooo good!)
Double ramen / pork fat, spring garlic, fermented turnips, poached belly, noodles (the best of all the ramens)
Stuffed trotter terrine / foie gras, black truffles, cognac soaked morels (absolutely elegant)
As participating farmers, we were able to sample the tastings of all the chefs ahead of the crowd that swarmed the Viceroy’s patio. Both Bruce and I voted for Chef Jason as the best bites in the competition!! We would have voted the same way even if our pig wasn’t competing! Chef Jason Neroni really did Winfield Farm Mangalitsa proud.
Thanks again, Chef!!
A photo gallery of Cochon activity