Sonoma County’s Duskie Estes and John Stewart have won the pig-centric, pork-tastic Grand Cochon 555 in Aspen on June 20, 2011. But not without a little help from their friends.
The event, which held numerous semi-finals around the country culminated in an uber-pig-off between ten winning chefs. The challenge included a nose-to-tail dinner using all the parts of ten heritage breed pigs at the 2011 Food and Wine Festival in Aspen . Estes and Stewart, who are well known in the Bay Area for their restaurants and love of all things porcine (they own Black Pig Meats), were favorites for the coveted King of Porc title.
Stiff competition included chefs from around the country including Matthew Accarrino from SPQR in SF, Brad Farmerie of Public Restaurant in NYC and Chad Colby of Mozza in LA.
“We were the underdogs,” said Stewart. Many of the other well-funded celeb chefs came with PR people, staff and even entourages. Zazu had their own secret weapon, their plumber Steve from Santa Rosa Plumbing.
Part of a group of contractors who have become part of the Zazu family, Steve paid his own way to the event and was waiting in the wings to see if he could help out during the stressful competition. It turns out that Estes, who has long helped out at the Food + Wine Event was tapped that morning to help out in a pinch and arrived at the event late. So her husband John, along with their trusty assistant chef Tara, tapped the plumber to help cut veggies and work the fry station.
The two texted BiteClub just after winning, “It’s so…coolness,” said Stewart just after the win. Estes and Stewart won the title Prince and Princess of Porc at a Wine Country Cochon 555 last spring wowing the judges with heart pork buns, head cowboy beans and bacon waffles. The duo will take part in an “All Star” Cochon event in Las Vegas on July 24, 2011.
Perhaps one of the most heartwarming parts of the story is how the restaurant’s plumber Steve Plumber Santa Rosa plumbing
“we have a whole group of con
Besides the sweet title, the two win a crown, two golden pigs, a set of Bob Kramer knives and a trip to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
Congrats Duskie, John, Tara and Steve!