Observe Some Behind the Scenes Pig-Butchery Shenanigans Before Cochon 555
Bazirgan and the head of his Red Wattle.

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.

See the rest of the details about the event here, and get your last-minute tickets here.

The Mina Group chef got one of the fattier animals, an Old Spot-wild boar cross breed. 
He’ll be competing against David Bazirgan from The Fifth Floor, Ravi Kapur of Prospect, Brandon Jew and Salvatore Cracco of Bar Agricole, and Matt Accarrino of SPQR.
Varley trimming the ribs.
Varley trimming some skin from the belly.
Varley’s tenderloin.
The broken down Old Spot-wild boar.
Proud papa.
Chef David Bazirgan biting on the wattle of his Red Wattle pig. The wattle is like this wart thing that grows out of the pig’s neck, hence the heritage breed’s name.
One half of the Red Wattle.
Chef Bazirgan found a fair amount of hair left on his Red Wattle, and he started referring to her as a “hairy Italian.”
This could make for a lovely proscuitto.
That would be the tail.
Skin mask.
Observe Some Behind the Scenes Pig-Butchery Shenanigans Before Cochon 555