Snowmass to celebrate National Pig Day with outdoor cooking event |

Snowmass to celebrate National Pig Day with outdoor cooking event

Grand Cochon returns to Snowmass Village tonight, wrapping up a weekend of swine-centric events in Aspen and Snowmass.
Courtesy photo |

It’s National Pig Day on Tuesday, and we know you’re wondering how you’re going to celebrate.

But fear not: The organizers from Cochon555, who brought two live cooking events to Snowmass Village during last year’s Food & Wine Classic, are back to beef — er, pork — up apres-ski this Tuesday and Wednesday.

With the help of Will Nolan, executive chef at Viceroy Snowmass; Jason Harrison, private chef and owner of Vail Valley-based Red Maple Catering and 2013 Cochon winner; and Bryan Nolt of Breckenridge Distillery, Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe is hosting live cooking events on the patio of Ricard in Snowmass Base Village. The chefs will prepare three pigs and one lamb total, paired with cocktails crafted by Nolt.

Similar to Heritage Fire, an outdoor cooking event that Snowmass will host again in June, the animals will be cooked outside, roasting all day while people are skiing. But the asado spits used in grass during Heritage Fire won’t work in either snow or on concrete, so Lowe is debuting a device he’s created that links the asado to a specific grill.

“It’s called asado to go,” Lowe said. “It’s totally a game-changer for chefs who want to do asado.”

Harrison said he and Nolan will make sure each animal has its own flavor.

“This should really give people an idea of what to expect from Heritage Fire on a smaller scale,” Harrison said.

For Heritage Fire, chefs cook whole heritage-breed animals of a variety of species, from pork to lamb to octopus, over outdoor fire pits. Held on the Base Village lawn last year, the 2015 event was a huge success.

“It was hands-down the coolest event of the season,” Nolan said.

Grand Cochon, scheduled for June 18 at the Viceroy Snowmass, is the finale event for the nationwide Cochon555 competition, which recruits chefs in cities across the U.S. to cook dishes from an entire heritage-breed pig in a bid to be crowned “Prince of Porc.”

“It’s an amazing competition,” said Harrison, who was crowned “King of Porc” at the Grand Cochon finale event in Aspen in 2013. “It’s based on whole-animal usage, so you have to be really creative.”

The Snowmass events this week follow the regional contest occurring in Denver this weekend. Harrison is preparing a tartare bar for the Denver event, where he also will be judging dishes.

The apres-ski events are from 4 to 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. In addition to the Cochon offerings, Ricard will serve food and drink specials throughout.

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