Cooking a whole animal means someone has to eat the head.

Cooking a whole animal means someone has to eat the head.

ST. HELENA, Calif.
Fire pits adjacent to grape vines at a vineyard? It must be time for Heritage Fire by Cochon 555.

This annual food event brings together 50 chefs cooking more than 3,500 pounds of whole animals, from pigs to ducks to cows, to create tasting dishes served with wine in the garden of Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena in Napa Valley.

The "Fire Kitchen" where chefs slow-cooked their whole animals over fire pits similar to how they do it in Argentina.

The “Fire Kitchen” where chefs slow-cooked their whole animals over fire pits similar to how they do it in Argentina.

There was a charcuterie tent where we got to sample a variety of cured meats.

There was a charcuterie pavilion where we got to sample a variety of cured meats.

Roasting duck outdoors

Roasting duck outdoors

I attended Heritage Fire for the first time last Sunday, and brought along my meat-loving friend Brenda of Bites & Bourbon. For nearly three hours, we chowed down on guinea hen, beef tongue, rabbit and all cuts of pork, while sipping on wine from a variety of local wineries.

In its eighth year, Cochon 555 puts on events across the country to celebrate heritage breed animals, and the events are often fund-raisers, too. Chefs from some of the top Bay Area restaurants came out to cook, including Flour + Water, Dirty Habit, Calavera, and Alexander’s Steakhouse, to name just a few.

Some of my favorite bites included an Instagram-ready Mangalista pork lardo bite with peach jam from Del Dotto Vineyards, and a beef rib from Alexander’s Steakhouse with tangy BBQ sauce.

My favorite bite of Mangalista pork lardo with peach jam from Del Dotto Vineyards.

My favorite bite of Mangalista pork lardo with peach jam from Del Dotto Vineyards.

Chef Tony Incontro of Del Dotto showing off his house-cured prosciutto.

Chef Tony Incontro of Del Dotto showing off his house-cured prosciutto.

On a summer Sunday, the setting at Charles Krug accentuated the food and made the overall event uniquely Napa Valley.

To get more highlights of this year’s Heritage Fire, particularly through my eyes, check out the video I whipped up below.

4 Responses to Summer Heats Up with Cochon 555’s Heritage Fire 2016

  1. Brenda Ton says:

    Such a fun time, and I love that video!

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    I HEART lardo! And with peach jam? I would have gone for just that alone. 😉