Hogging the Spotlight: The Cosmopolitan’s Summer Festival of Pork

No hotel in Las Vegas is bringing the proverbial heat quite like the Cosmopolitan this summer. Their club Marquee is luring the biggest names in dance music on a near-nightly basis, and they’ve even secured Adele to drop by next month for an intimate gig. But the hotel offers a lot more than pop icons and DJs. Later this month, the Cosmopolitan will host the rock stars of the food world at a new event, the inaugural All-Star Cochon.

On July 24, chefs such as Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura of Lindy & Grundy, Michael Sullivan of Blackberry Farm, John Sundstrom of Lark, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, Jeremy Fox and the 2010 “King of Porc” David Varley of Michael Mina, Alex Seidel of Fruition, and Stephanie Izard of The Girl & the Goat will descend upon the Strip’s hottest hotel to cook up all things pig.

As part of the three-year-old Cochon 555 competition, the chefs will dream up new ways to roast, chop, broil, and fry the swine in ways previously unknown to man. Not only will chefs fly in from all over the U.S., but the Cosmopolitan’s own dream team of pork participants will be in the mix as well. That means kitchen pros from restaurants such as Comme Ça, D.O.C.G, Estiatorio Milos, Holstein’s, Jaleo, STK, Scarpetta and more. While the series has toured before nationally, the July 24th event at the Cosmo is the first ever “all-star” event, with acclaimed butchers and 14 whole heritage hogs. Naturally, packages are available for those looking to pig out later this month, many of which also include special tastings of Domaine Serene reserve wines paired with Spanish pork variety Fermin Iberico de Bellota.

Watch a trailer for Cochon 555 to get a sense of why hogs have been all the rage recently.

The Dish: Comme Ça’s Bouillabaisse

What: Traditional Provençal Bouillabaisse of mussels, sea bass, snapper, and shrimp served with rouille sauce. Where: David Myers’s modern West Hollywood French brasserie, Comme Ça. Ideal meal: When you need that ‘something special’ to spice up a night out, or a starting point for a big night on the town. Because: Since opening in ’07, the brasserie has walked the fine line between Melrose scenester hangout and quality cuisinier. The noise levels are moderate-to-obscenely loud, people watching is a definite plus, and the star items on the menu are always a go. Tastes like: Hints of tomato, saffron, and Pernod flawlessly supplement the essence of the shellfish/fish, and a dollop of zesty Dijon and cayenne-infused rouille served with toasted baguette slices completes the meal. Bottom line: $29 (+$17 for the lobster supplement). Worth it. You’ll be satisfied with the plentiful seafood. Can’t comment on the lobster supplement, but I’ve never turned it down when offered.