Chef Andres Padilla of Topolobampo crowned 2016 Barbecue King at HeritageBBQ

Each spring, the Cochon555 US Tour rolls through Chicago to crown a King or Queen of Pork. For the past three years, however, this roving culinary competition has added Heritage BBQ, a superb event in the late summer. Heritage BBQ is a culinary competition featuring five chefs cooking five whole, heritage breed pigs with global flavors and timeless cooking techniques. Each chef was given a 180-200 pound heritage breed pig and tasked to create, prepare and present a “Judge’s Plate” of six dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques and overall flavor.

This year, representing the Mangalitsa breed of pig raised by 1936 Meadowbrook Farms, the winner was Chef Andres Padilla of Topolobampo.

This year’s competing chefs also included:

  • Frank Valdez of Broken English Taco Pub
  • Chris Pandel of Swift & Sons
  • Ashlee Aubin of Salero
  • Won Kim of Kimski

The chefs prepared dishes using whole heritage-breed pigs from family farms in a head to tail showcase for a crowd of enthusiastic pork-lovers. Chef Padilla won the event with a rare breed of pig originating from Hungary in the early 1800’s, the Mangalitsa, which is characterized by its course, wooly coat and ability to withstand extreme condition. Its high-quality, lard-type fat and high percentage of marbling formed the basis of six amazing menu items which included Cochinita Pibil Tacos, Lomo en Guajilla, Oaxaca Pasilla-Guava Glaze, Guisado de Chicharron y Panza, Tamales en Mole Negro and Feast or Famine Tostadas.

“It was amazing to come to Chicago again this year; I was honored to be surrounded by such a diverse and talented group of chefs,” said Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “A big thank you to all the chefs, sponsors, our team and everyone at Loews Chicago Hotel, who executed an epic event for our return to the city. I thank everyone who participated and a much-deserved congratulations to winning Chef Padilla. It was such an amazing turnout and I’m truly honored to have collaborated with an amazing team who worked together to put so much energy toward the good food movement.”

Of course, no Cochon555 event is complete without an epic amount of additional offerings. HeritageBBQ included barbecue bites from several other restaurants, wine tastings, craft cocktail stations, beer, cheese, charcuterie and a plethora of other exciting things. For a full roundup, check out Gourmet Rambler‘s article: “All Hail The Pig at Cochon555 Heritage BBQ.

Besides allowing attendees to sample unique barbecue styles from around the world, the event also benefited a greater – and more delicious – cause in the form of Piggy Bank, a farm-in-the-making devoted to sharing free heritage breed genetics and business plans with small and family farms. This year’s event raised over $3,500 for Piggy Bank. The charity was launched in 2015 by Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe and aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and benefit from the sharing of genetics, livestock, and the information needed to thrive as small businesses. Follow the Piggy Bank conversation on Twitter @PiggyBankOrg. For more information, visit

For more details and videos of Cochon555 events, visit or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.


Photos: All rights reserved / Cochon555 US Tour / Galdones Photography






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