In February, Cochon 555 came to Memphis and it was awesome. Apparently Cochon was as smitten with Memphis as Memphis was with Cochon, because over the weekend we had the inaugural Heritage BBQ & National Bourbon Month celebration. It was three days of serious pig eating and bourbon drinking. I only made it to two out of the three days, but it was epic.
This time I scored a "Plus 1" so I was able to take a date to the events. On Friday night Aimee and I went to the Mixologist Rooftop Soiree & Taste of Memphis event on the Peabody Rooftop. There was a nice square bar in the center of the party with some of our favorite bartenders.
Tasty drinks abounded. Great pictures of them did not.
The food was also amazing. Among my favorites were Jonathan's (of Las Tortugas) Crispy Berkshire Guacamole with Roasted Garlic Crema. The pickled carrot was a nice touch. Yu-um.
I also liked Kaia's (of Lunchbox Eats) Hockey Hash Melt Pucks.
The tastiest treat was the headcheese and ham stuffed in a homemade pretzel. I know right?
We had a super fun time. It was the superness of this fun time that prevented me from making it to any of Saturday's events. A Bloody Mary, bbq oysters and bacon at Sweet Grass sounded great, but my bed wouldn't let me out of its embrace. (It did briefly let me out to run 4 miles with my group, but called me back.) I also lacked the energy to do the 5 hour Man vs. Food tour. I really hate that I didn't make it to the pop up dinner at Sweet Grass, but dang.
I made up for it on Sunday.
Sunday's main event was very similar to the Cochon 555 event earlier in the year. Various teams were set up in the Columns and they each prepared 6 dishes for a complete snout to tail plate. Concurrent with this event, Felicia Suzanne's was hosting a bourbon party complete with BBQ oysters and BLTs.
Warren ("I don't want to stuff myself, get drunk and gain ten pounds today") and I started at Felicia's.
The fabulous Michael Hughes was again manning a table full of bourbon. I told him it was my first drink of the day (it was noon-thirty) and I wanted something...I was going to say "light and refreshing," since I was staring down a long day, but he went the other way and thought I was going to say "Strong as a MFer."
So, I was off to a great start.
The oysters were delish.
As were the BLTs. Whole Foods hosted the BLT bar and had three kinds of bacon, several fancy mayos, house made pimento cheese, and heirloom tomatoes. Yu-ummy.
For whatever reason, I thought it was ok to go ahead and have a second round of bacon.
In my mind the lines would be long at the Columns and we wouldn't really eat too much. WRONG!
OMG. So. Much. Food.
We started off at Todd Mussman's table, which was a good call since he ended up winning!
His chile relleno and corn salsa with homemade corn nuts was awesome.
Next we went to Miles McMath's and Mark Newman's table. Again, smart, since they came in second. They had a serious spread.
We got one of everything.
See that corn dog dealie? It had offal in it. What's offal? Internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. Yep. Uh-huh. And they are GOOD! BUT! No way would I have eaten it minus the two strong bourbons beforehand.
Miles & crew also had Kool-aid pickles.
And to go boxes with potted meat, crackers, and pepper jelly. Sweet!
We really tried to hit every team's table, but I don't think we did. Here are a few other highlights:
Wally Joe's plate. Warren loved the Asian-flavored pork. Friday's headcheese pretzel made an encore appearance.
Ryan Trimm's plate. I love the little okra flower.
Seriously by now I was DYING. Even Warren had to call Uncle. BUT! How could we not make room for a smoked bone ice cream root beer float from Harrison Keevil of Charlottesville? Damn tasty.
This is the rest of the Keevil's plate. The styrofoam cup is skewered with face meat. Warren made me eat it! I'm pretty sure that was my last bite of the day.
We ended the afternoon back at Felicia's with a drink on the patio and a chat with some of our favorite foodies.
Warren went home to spend time with our children and I went to the final VIP after party. Yep, you heard me.
I REALLY hope that this becomes an annual event, because it was all around awesome. I know the ticket prices are high, but I think you get your money's worth. And next year, I'm taking Satchel (and Jiro, should he decide to eat anything other than hamburgers). I think he'd love it.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this a top notch event. Memphis never tasted better!