It’s hard to imagine a more perfect way to spend Labor Day than at Cochon Heritage BBQ, a three-day celebration of heritage pork, bourbon, and Memphis’ favorite food. Tickets for the event went on sale this weekend, offering comprehensive VIP passes and individual tickets to separate events.
The barbecue blowout kicks off August 31st with guest chef and distiller dinners and a rooftop soiree at The Peabody and culminates September 2nd with a snout-to-tail barbecue competition between 24 chef-lead teams at the Columns on North Main Street. Unlike the Memphis in May barbecue cooking contest, where sampling options are limited, participants at Cochon Heritage BBQ can eat and drink with gusto. “Swine and sweet” food stations will offer a cornucopia of chef-prepared dishes, along with beer, wine, bourbon and, of course, barbecue.
The Columns (formerly the grand lobby of Suntrust Bank) is the same venue used in February for Cochon 555, a prestigious snout-to-tail cook-off with heritage breeds held in cities across America. Kelly English of Restaurant Iris won the Memphis event and competed again in Aspen, Colorado, at the national level.
Brady Love, founder of Cochon 555, announced plans in February for the inaugural barbecue competition in Memphis, but event details released this weekend promise much more than fine dining. In addition to the cook-off at the Columns, the weekend will include an heirloom Bloody Mary tailgate party, a “man versus BBQ” eating contest, a party at Felicia Suzanne’s with barbecue oysters and dozens of craft bourbons, and panel discussions on wine, cheese and butchery, to name just a few.
I was a judge at Cochon 555, and the event was stellar in every way. I mention this endorsement so you don’t wait too long to purchase tickets, as I’m sure they will sell quickly. For a more complete listing of events and ticket information, click here for the Cochon Heritage BBQ website. Also, additional activities still are being planned, so check back over the next few weeks for details and a roster of participating chefs.