A victim of COCHON 555 in 2009.
  • www.cochon555.com
  • A victim of COCHON 555 in 2009.

COCHON 555 is a national tour that stops in 10 cities—in each one, five chefs battle for the title of "Prince or Princess of Porc" in a cook-off featuring five pigs and five wines. If Top Chef and Iron Chef had a pig-baby, this event would be it. It's coming to Seattle this Sunday, at Bell Harbor Conference Center (tickets are a spendy $125).

But will people punch each other and go to jail like they did in Portland on Sunday night?

From the Portland Mercury's Blogtown:

Supposedly chef [Eric] Bechard (previously of Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill), attending the event as a guest and not a competitor, became angry after learning the pig used to win the competition was shipped in from Iowa. [The Willamette Week's Kelly] Clark's sources claim that during an afterparty at the Davis Street Tavern, Bechard headbutted a winery sales manager before being kicked out of the restaurant. Witnesses then alleged he then became embroiled in a street tussle with [COCHON 555 organizer Brady] Lowe outside of a downtown strip club early on Monday morning where Portland police subdued the two men and arrested them.

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Ostensibly, the whole ruckus stems from bitterness over that Iowa pig, but I'm guessing it has something to do with Cochon 555's third five: the quintet of wineries offering tastes of their wares at the event. I imagine this is more about drunkenness and anger issues than about passion for local pork. Maybe it's time for someone to seek help.

Drunkenness and anger issues aside, for punching each other over pigs, PDX and COCHON 555 are badass. I hope there are fisticuffs on Sunday in Seattle—I doubt it, but I hope.

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