Chefs Dave Varley of the Michael Mina Group (who took home the King of Porc crown at last year’s Grand Cochon), and David Bazirgan of Fifth Floor (who everyone now knows as the Hottest Chef in America), both let Grub Street into their kitchens this past week to observe the arrival and butchering of their heritage breed pigs, prior to this Sunday’s Cochon 555 competition. Both men stayed mum about what exactly they’d be preparing for Sunday’s porkapalooza, lest their competitors get any copycat ideas. “I’m not saying anything,” Baz said. “I want to go to Aspen.” (The winner of the S.F. Prince of Porc title goes on to compete at the Grand Cochon in Aspen, during the Food & Wine Classic, on June 19.) But they did give us a few hints — Baz isn’t bothering with the loin or the leaner cuts, and Varley’s definitely doing some sort of chicharrones. Please see our slideshow, which we’re pretty sure is going to upset PETA, and probably most of the bloody-meat-squeamish among you. Please don’t look during lunch.
Bazirgan and the head of his Red Wattle.