About 225 guests were on hand to lend their support and sample pork delicacies as five of Portland’s best chefs celebrated National Pig Day by preparing heritage breed hogs—from tail to snout—at a benefit for Raphael House at the Ecotrust Building on March 1. James Beard award-winner Vitaly Paley, the owner of Paley’s Place, was crowned Prince of Porc at Cochon555, a national cooking contest dedicated to all things piggy. Competing chefs also included John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, Alex Bourgidu of Porta Restaurant, and Tommy Habetz of Bunk Sandwiches.
Judges tapped the winner based on creativity, preparation, and overall flavor. Paley’s winning entry included five-day cedar smoked prosciutto, consommé royale (bacon and truffle custard, cured ham, chervil), crispy black pudding and bacon hollandaise, pig in a sausage blanket, trotter and hock stew, and topped off with a salad of crispy cider syrup glazed pork skins, apples and rocket.
A VIP reception preceded the cook-off with appetizers and shots of “pig juice” prepared by Philippe Boulot and Jeff Groh of the Heathman Restaurant and Bar. A swine time was had by all!