The first Cochon Island event in Hawaii was a success! At least that's what organizers and attendees including journalists and dedicated foodies were saying throughout the evening. Established in 2009 by chef Brady Lowe from Atlanta, GA, the event challenges well-known chefs in different regions to use an entire heritage pig (snout to tail). Since inception, Cochon Island has supported responsible family farming resulting in 35,000 people tasting heritage pigs, more than $300,000 going to supporting charities and more than $500,000 going directly to farmers. Here at the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Cochon555 brought together five chefs from Hawaii, five pigs, plus five distillers including bourbon, beer and wine to celebrate responsible farming and the spirit of Aloha. Each chef team prepared a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for a pork-loving audience. My hat goes off to Ed Kenney, of Town in Honolulu for taking on the offal (organs). It wasn't in my preferred taste profile, but the others at my table liked it and praised him for stepping up to deal with these unsavory parts. If you happen to like the musky taste of organs, Kenney's heritage pork organs should be on your bucket list. Participating chefs included: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s chef Peter Pahk; Bistro Molokini’s chef Michael Young; Pili Hawaii’s chef Mark Noguchi; celebrity chef Lee Anne Wong; and Town & Uptown Events’ chef Ed Kenney.
Word is it will be happening again next year! Stay tuned.