Cochon 555 Pork Competition Turns Five, Kicks Off February 17 In Atlanta

baconMuch ado about pork products is made on Gadling, with good reason. Even if you’re sick to death of pork-centric eateries, and lardo this and sausage that, it’s hard to deny the allure of the other white meat (I can’t tell you how many vegetarians and vegans I know who still have a jones for bacon).

For those of you wanting to attend the ultimate porkapalooza, get your tickets for Cochon 555, a traveling, “National Culinary Competition & Tasting Event Dedicated to Heritage Pigs, Family Wineries & Sustainable Farming.”

The 10-city tour kicks off February 17 in Atlanta, and will include stops in New York; Boston; Chicago; Washington, DC; Miami; Vail; Seattle; San Francisco; and Los Angeles, before culminating in the dramatic Grand Cochon at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on June 16. Notice that Colorado gets two Cochon visits? The South isn’t the only place that appreciates pork.

Cochon was created by Taste Network’s Brady Lowe to raise awareness about, and encourage the sustainable farming of heritage-breed pigs. At each destination, five celebrated local chefs must prepare a nose-to-tail menu using one, 200-pound, family-raised heritage breed of pig. Twenty judges and 400 guests help decide the winning chef. The 10 finalists will then compete at the Grand Cochon for the ultimate title of “King or Queen of Porc.”

Depending upon venue, attendees can also expect tasty treats like Heritage BBQ; butchery demonstrations; mezcal, bourbon, whiskey and rye tastings; specialty cheese sampling, cocktail competitions; a Perfect Manhattan Bar, raffles, and killer after-parties.

For additional details and tickets, click here. Partial proceeds benefit charities and family farms nationwide.

[Photo credit: Flickr user out of ideas]

Enter to win a “cuisinternship” in Oregon

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a winemaker, brewmaster, or cheesemaker? How about a rancher, chocolate maker, fisherman(or woman), or a liquor distiller? Here’s your chance to find out. Seven lucky winners will be given the opportunity to apprentice in their chosen professions, helping out with all the duties of the job and learning the ropes from the pros.

The Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship contest runs until September 18 and aims to highlight the variety and quality of food and drink produced locally. The internships take place around the state, covering the Pacific coast, Willamette Valley, Mt. Hood, Eastern Oregon and Portland. The brewing intern will be mixing barley and hops at Full Sail Brewing and the apprentice chef will be prepping dishes at Le Pigeon Restaurant. Each apprentice will receive airfare from his or her home city to Portland, six nights of lodging, a five day apprenticeship, and $1000 cash to cover meals and other expenses.

To enter, compose a 140-character statement on why you should be chosen for the apprenticeship, along with a two-minute video explaining why you are the best person for the job. You can submit one entry per category, but you can apply for as many categories as you wish. Entries must be received by September 18 and the winners will be announced on September 30.