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The 2011 Cochon Heritage Fire Festival in Photos

Cochon Heritage Fire took place on August 13, 2011 at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. It was the final Cochon 555 event of the year and was national in scope, drawing chefs and butchers from throughout the country. It was a fun event, well-attended but not crowded (perhaps because of the $100 ticket price). The afternoon was very warm, but the big lawn at Charles Krug Winery with it's huge, shady trees kept people comfortable.

You can't have a "Heritage Fire" event without a fire.

25 chefs and 10 butchers participated. They served a staggering array of creative dishes made from heritage meats. Among the participants were the proud owners of this trophy (below), the Queen and King of Porc, Duskie Estes and John Stewart from Zazu and Bovolo restaurants and Black Pig Meats in Sonoma County. Estes and Stewart came out on top at the Grand Cochon 555 snout-to-tail competition in Aspen on June 20. This followed their Spring victory at Cochon 555 Napa.

A very cool trophy and better than having to wear a crown of pork ribs.

Previous Cochon 555 events have been all about heritage breed pigs and delicious bites from every last bit. For example, one offering from Estes and Stewart at Cochon 555 Napa was Pig Heart Pork Buns.

This little piggy never made it to market.

Cochon Heritage Fire was different. More than just a porkapalooza, it celebrated other heritage breeds animals as well.

These rabbits were on the fence about their participation at Cochon Heritage Fire

And it was not just four-footed animals that found flame and glory. There were chicken, quail, duck and fish too.

There was something fishy at Cochon Heritage Fire.

Some dishes combined multiple animals in a single dish. There were sandwiches, stews, tacos, sausages, rillettes and many other presentations of meat.

This pig was stuffed with beef, chicken, duck, sausage and more.

Eva Swan enjoys a hot dog. Was it the one made from duck and foie gras, or the one topped with pork belly?

There was more than just food at the event. There were a variety of demonstrations and active cooking to watch. A couple of tables featured butchery- and pig-themed antiques.

Sausages rotate over the flame after the sausage stuffing demonstration.

Duskie Estes of Zazu happily hacks into a fire roasted pig.

Cochon Heritage Fire was a wine country event and there were plenty of wines to try. Event host Charles Krug Winery was joined by roughly 15 other wineries. Appellation St. Helena offered a broad selection from its wineries too.

Phillipe Melka was among the celebrated winemakers pouring at Cochon Heritage Fire

Winemaker/proprietor Duncan Arnot Meyers and his wife Erin got into the spirt of the event and poured some excellent wine too.

Because it was a hot day, light-bodied wines fared best. Among my favorites were a Failla Pinot Noir and the super-refreshing but not-to-be-released méthode ancestrale sparkling Chardonnay made by Duncan Arnot Meyers. (The latter wasn't made for commercial purposes.)

All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable afternoon. I would happily attend another. (And I paid for my ticket...)


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This article is original to All photos by Fred Swan. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.