The prestigious competitive cook-off known as Cochon 555 hit Minneapolis for the first time this month, pitting five of our top chefs against one another in an epic feast-i-vus on National Pig Day. Can't score tickets to the cook-off? Here are four other ways to get local with porkish delights:
Kitchen in the Market often sells out its whole hog butchery class where local chefs teach you, hands on, how to break down a pig. The next class is March 30, taught by Corner Table's Thomas Boemer, and will run you $100 for the class and lunch afterward.
Looking for a whole hog for your own pig roast? The Tollefson family is your hookup. Their high-quality, all-natural pork is only sold at the farmers' market and from their food truck. They're the ones that lure you over with tasty-smelling grilled brats and such.
Lenny Russo of Heartland has an in-house butchery, so when he orders pork, he gets a pig. That means that we benefit from all the leftover bits, like heritage mangalitsa breed lard sold in his market and a densely luscious pork burger, which is served in the bar.
Speck, a dry-cured smoked ham that is much like prosciutto but German in tradition, is now locally made and sold by Red Table Meat Co. Under its watchful and technically superiour gaze are other beautiful treats like pancetta (cured pork belly), Pork Queen (a funky salami), guanciale (cured pork cheek), and The Royal, a smoked ham that, when sliced, takes a ham 'n' cheese sandwich stratospheric.