“Yes, there was a head-butt,” confirms Hedstrom, the national sales manager for Gaston’s Elk Cove Vineyards, one of five wineries that poured vino at Cochon 555. “Toward the end of the event, after Olympic Provisions was declared the winner, I was walking by Eric. I said, ‘Hey man, we should get you involved in the event next year [Hedstrom is close to Lowe and invited Barwikowski and Nostrana's Cathy Whims to battle at this year's event]. He responded with a lot of cuss words and that he’d never be part of an event that had the winner use a pig from Iowa. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
The evening went sharply downhill from there ending in arrests and hospitalisations. I wonder what it says about the American food connoisseur. Can we imagine cuddly Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall getting all medieval with someone's ass because he roasted an out-of-county pig at the River Cottage open day? No, we can't.
If you've ever 'enjoyed' American fine-dining, you'll know that complication and detailed provenance are regarded as good things in themselves. So the winning dish?
Olympic Provisions chef Jason Barwikowski was the big winner last night, taking home the title of Prince of Porc with his ravioli in broth, pork-belly niblets and tasty banh mi sandwiches all made from a Red Wattle pig from Iowa’s Koerperich Farm.
I've got indigestion just reading it.
H/t Felix the Salmon.