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February food events: Cochon 555 and Atlanta Chef’s Expo

atl_headerFebruary brings two large foodie events: Cochon 555 Anniversary Tour and Atlanta Chef’s Expo. Tickets are now available for both. Valentine’s Day gift, perhaps? Here’s the scoop.

Cochon 555

When: 4 p.m. (VIP), 5 p.m. (general admission) Sunday, Feb. 17

Where: Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, 165 Courtland St. N.E.

What: In its 5th anniversary tour, this traveling competition and tasting event features five chefs, five pigs and five winemakers (555). Five chefs are tasked with preparing a nose-to-tail menu from an entire 200-pound heritage breed of pig. A panel of judges and the 400 attendees will vote on favorite dishes to determine the winner, who will compete at the Grand Cochon event at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.

This year’s chefs include Ryan Smith (Empire State South), Joseph Schafer (King and Duke), Eric Ottensmeyer (Leon’s Full Service), Whitney Otawka (Farm 255) and Guy Wong (Miso Izakaya).

General admission ticket prices include wine pairings and a taste of Todd Mussman’s (Local 3/Muss & Turners) winning barbecue from the Heritage BBQ 2012 competition.

VIP tickets come with access to the cocktail competition, “Punch Kings.” Contenders include Kevin Bragg (4th & Swift), Kellie Thorn (Empire State South), Arianne Fielder (Seven Lamps), Nate Shuman (Proof & Provision), Ian Cox (The Wrecking Bar), and Trip Sandifer (The Spence).

Other event experiences feature a craft cheese bar, tartare bar, bourbon and mezcal tastings, and a butcher demonstration by Rusty Bowers from Pine Street Market.

Tickets: Purchase online. $125-250.

Atlanta Chef’s Expo

When: 1:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24

Where: Georgia Ballroom at the Georgia World Congress

What: This event to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Atlanta features menu tastings from chefs and caterers, cooking demonstrations from local chef Scott Serpas (Serpas True Food), traveling chef Joe Arvin (Madlove Cooking), and a mixology demonstration from Kit Lewis.

Participating restaurants and caterers include Thrive, Baraonda, Couteaux’s Catering, Clement Catering Co. and Dr. Sweet’s Cake Emporium.

Blogger Broderick Smylie (Savory Exposure blog) will join cooking instructor Ginny McCormack and Star 94’s Holly Firfer to judge the event’s most creative dish. Guests will have the opportunity to vote for the fan favorite award.

Tickets: Purchase online. $35 (general admission), $55 (VIP).

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

8 comments Add your comment

[...] February food events: Cochon 555 and Atlanta Chef’s Expo [...]


February 8th, 2013
5:59 pm

Went to one of the early ATL Cochon 555’s and really felt like we got ripped off… The wife and I paid for the VIP package and got the impression that we were the only non-industry types there… and the only ones who paid the extra $$$ or any $$ at all. The “VIP” reception was filled with young 20’s types who had obviously not dropped the coin to attend, yet were scarfing up all of the product and all of the libations… The main event was equally as weak with long lines, too little food and libation shortages. Maybe they’ve improved since their early days but we won’t be attending.


February 8th, 2013
11:50 pm

No it is the same nonsense. Reeling in a bunch of talented chefs and people with heart that really know what it means to work hard and then getting them to do just that, all the hard work. This Jerkoff gets credit for giving quality food and local ingredients a bad rep, for running the worst organized event in food. This event is poorly run, too expensive, horribly organized, taking advantage of the farms, the producers, the chefs, and everyone involved, it is not a good event. He has taken what should be a great event with integrity and turned it into a way for him to line his pockets during his off season, look at his history, do your homework Atlanta. If you can do one thing when you see this 555 event coming…….RUN! Show him we don’t want him in Atlanta anymore or go drink it up and have fun at the Sheraton? Farmers and Chefs work hard enough already to deal with this man. Take it from someone he has burned or ask past event attendees. Just because it cost a lot of $ doesn’t mean it is worth it, in fact, this time it is not.


February 9th, 2013
12:01 am

My husband I could not believe how disappointed we were in this last time. I would not return and it was not worth the money. 555 means Think 5 minutes, Drive 5 Miles away, and Enjoy 5 Drinks somewhere else. Booo!


February 9th, 2013
9:06 am

Didn’t this event get hammered last year also? Maybe they learned their lesson? Lets give them a second chance to make good. The post-review should be interesting.


February 9th, 2013
10:18 am

@Richard, thanks for an insider’s perspective. I had sensed “foul play” all along and you confirmed it. I’m always hesitant to throw something under the proverbial bus but this event was BAD!! @Baltisraul, I appreciate your perspective as well but I’ll let someone else spend their $250 to tell me what I’m afraid I already know. I did remember one bright spot and that was the butcher butchering the pig… I learned a lot by watching.


February 10th, 2013
9:45 am

How about just sending the money you would pay to get into 555 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank? Then you know you have done something good this week. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Road Scholar

February 11th, 2013
8:05 am

John, Chinese restaurants used to do specials and buffets on Chinese New Year. Do you know/recommend any?