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The five chefs that will compete in this year’s D.C. edition of the Cochon 555 pork-centric cooking competition are all white males. Perhaps not the best move, given that Cochon 555 caught heat last year after its founderBrady Lowe posed in a photo that’s racist toward Asians and Asian-Americans.
Three current or former D.C. chefs who have won the competition in years past—Danny Lee, Erik Bruner-Yang, and Jonah Kim—weren’t happy. Lee told the Post, “To completely degrade that culture by wearing that outfit, and posing and smiling, just shows the ignorance about Asian culture.”
Lowe issued an apology on behalf of himself and Cochon 55 calling his behavior an “inappropriate representation of race.”
Nevertheless, the following five chefs will compete, each trying to make the best dishes out of a whole heritage breed pig, on Aug. 6 at The Watergate Hotel:
Chef Ben Pflaumer of Osteria Morini, Chef Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat, Chef BJ Lieberman of Rose’s Luxury, Chef Kosta Kontogiannis of Kingbird Restaurant, and Chef Zachary Mills of Wit & Wisdom in Baltimore. The winner from each city is dubbed the “Prince of Porc” and will head to the national championship in Chicago in October.
Participation in the competition is by invitation only. It’s unknown how many women or chefs of color were asked. Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked was extended an invitation, but declined.