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We were at one of North America’s most exciting culinary events!

We were in Banff for an epic weekend of culinary adventures. We attended Cochon555 over the weekend of April 6 at the Fairmont Banff Springs. We had such a great time exploring Banff and had a blast at this event tasting all the wonderful pork dishes and learning about the importance of eating heritage breed pigs.

Cochon555 is a nose-to-tail culinary event that is committed in supporting family farmers and also educating buyers about the agricultural importance of eating heritage breed pigs. The ultimate aim is to provide education to chefs and consumers and create experiences that guests can sink their teeth into: honest food from real farmers. The meat they produce has superior flavor, texture, appearance, and nutritious qualities. Only the highest quality ingredients and products are sourced for this event! This culinary tour starts in Dallas in early-February and culminates with the finale, Grand Cochon late fall in Chicago. Cochon555 features five chefs cooking five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. After a dual guest/judge vote, the winner is crowned the “Princess/Prince of Pork”. The winner from the Banff competition advances to the Grand Cochon. Banff is the first destination in Canada to host Cochon555 this year! They chose a venue of the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel to feature this amazing chef’s competition to best prepare and present one whole, heritage-breed pig.

Now that you know more about the event, let's take a look at this year's Cochon555 in Banff! This year's Cochon555 features: 1500 Pounds of Heritage Pig 5 Chefs Cooking Whole Hog Artisan Cheese Bar Charcuterie Bar Seafood Station Surf & Turf Tartare Bar Innovative Sweet & Savory Dessert Veggie Bar Freshly Baked Bread Bar Spanish Influenced Bites

The chefs and producers of this year's Cochon555 in Banff

Chef Christian Gosselin of Fairmont Banff Spring's 1888 Chophouse. Paired with Eh Farm's Mangalitsa / Red Wattle heritage pig.

Chef Christian Gosselin's creations for Cochon 55: - milkshake with dehydrated pork trims - ice cream cone with pork fat and skin - candy apple with pork belly and loin - pigs in grass, pork butt belly bun - bologna sandwich with pork shoulder - SpaMC, pork leg and shoulder

Loved the presentation of Chef Christian Gosselin's creations. Our favorite was the pork belly candy apple!

Chef JF Fortin of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise's Fairview Restaurant. Paired with Broek Pork Acre's Berkshire heritage pig.

Chef JF Fortin's creations for Cochon555:

- blood pudding deviled eggs - head cheese eclair - chocolate pate bon bon - pulled peg and potato foam - heart carpaccio - ribs

Chef JF Fortin's pig's blood deviled egg was definitely something we have never had before! It was actually pretty tasty.

Chef Chris Thomson of Crave Mountain Grill located in the Banff Park Lodge. Paired with Sunterra Farm's Berkshire heritage pig.

Chef Chris Thomson's creations for Cochon555:

- smoked shoulder - pork belly mac and cheese - leg and pate banh mi - bone broth and braised tongue - tenderloin liverwurst with apricot - pork and apple tart with pork rind

Can't go wrong with pork belly with mac and cheese!!

Chef Rory Germain of Banff Saltlik. Paired with Nature's Green Acre's Tamworth heritage pig.

Chef Rory Germain's creations for Cochon555:

- pig head terrine - pulled pork slider - roasted pork tenderloin - piri piri ribs - filipino bbq pork - pork souvlaki

So much flavor in all of his dishes! Our favorite was the piri piri ribs.

Chef Scott Hergott of Sky Bistro Banff. Paired with Bear and the Flower Farm's Duroc/Landrace/Berkshire heritage pig.

Chef Scott Hergott's creations for Cochon555:

- smoked hock and ham stew - cherry wood smoked rib with baked beans - pulled pork, chicharron, chimichurri - tenderloin with horseradish mustard foam - blood and chocolate ravioli, brain escallop - maple bacon cotton candy

You can probably guess our favorite was the maple bacon cotton candy right?!

The winner of this year's Banff Cochon555 goes to...

Chef Scott Hergott of Sky Bistro Banff with Bear and the Flower Farm's Duroc/Landrace/Berkshire heritage pig!!! Congratulations!! . . . FOOD COMA We headed back to our hotel after the event with at huge food baby. We stayed at Banff’s historic Mount Royal Hotel, which is one of our favorite hotels in Banff!

After the devastating fire at Mount Royal Hotel in December 2016, they have re-opened its doors to the public in the summer of 2018. They spent over $45 million on renovations, and it looks absolutely amazing! This beautiful hotel is located right in the heart of Banff, putting you within walking distance of a lot of amazing shops and restaurants. What we enjoyed most at this hotel was the rooftop lounge and hot tub! We were amazed by the stunning mountain scenery at the rooftop. Imagine having a drink in your hand while soaking in a hot tub with beautiful rocky mountains surrounding you. How relaxing does that sound!?

. . . BRUNCH TIME We woke up early in the morning to attend the Cochon555 Brunch at Crave Mountain Grill. The food was amazing, and we loved the Cochon555 inspired dessert! They were both beautiful and delicious. Check out the food we had!!

Thank you to Chef Chris Thomson and the team from Crave Mountain Grill for this amazing brunch!! Huge thank you to Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, Pursuit and Cochon555 for such a memorable weekend!!! Can't wait to visit Banff again! . . . xo, Dee

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