**UPDATE Here is my post on Donald Link’s newest venture Cochon Butcher in the same building as Cochon, right around the corner!
Also, Chef Donald Link’s cookbook comes out April 21, 2009, can’t wait! It’s called Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana
(Read my review HERE!)
If I were a pig (no comments please), and I could choose my final resting place, I would choose Cochon. My sacrifice would not be in vain because I would be assured that every part of me would be utilized to create some of the best dishes that I’ve had in New Orleans to date, and that my friends is saying a mouthful.
Chef Donald link, co-owner Chef Stephen Stryjewski and their crew are orchestrating an in house Boucherie everyday, bringing in whole hogs that are broken down, and turned into a plethora of different Charcuterie ingredients, some on the menu and some that change from day to day on their Boucherie plate, more on that later.
Upon first walking through the door of Cochon, the aroma of wood fire and smoked meats will make your knees buckle a little; stop and breathe it in, you’ve entered hog heaven.
The dining room is warm and inviting, kind of a Polished Country feel. Anyway, just look at the picture, I’m not an interior designer, I’m a kitchen guy. Lets just say that it’s a nice, casual and inviting dining room. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful.
Back to the food.
The bar offers a wide array of Bourbons, local beers, and even a few varieties of Moonshine. If you’re interested in something non-alcoholic Cochon’s Lemonade is the best I have ever had, no lie, a perfect balance of sweet and sour, I couldn’t get enough.
The back of the restaurant features a Chef’s Counter, where you can watch all of the action. They have an array of various pickles displayed on the counter as well as some potted herbs for use in the kitchen.
The entrance to the kitchen and service station showcases and stores firewood for use in the wood burning oven.
We started our meal with the Boucherie Plate, how could I not right? This day’s selection:
Clockwise from bottom left; Speck, Country Bologna, Country Pate, Hogshead Cheese (buried) Peppery toast points, Pork Rillette, housemade Pickles & Pickled Peppers, housemade Creole Mustard (the best I’ve had).
Detail of the speck, country Bologna, and Pate:
The Hogshead Cheese, perfectly spiced and delicious:
My entree was the Louisiana Cochon, which is pulled pork that is pattied and seared, served atop turnips and cabbage, with a wonderfully rich pork jus, and topped with crispy Cracklins’!
Detail of the Louisiana Cochon:
This dish really has a remarkable pork flavor, a smoky subtlety, and a richness that is beyond compare. I dream about this dish.
My wife had the Beef Brisket with Horseradish Potato Salad, equally phenomenal, while staying true to the casual country dishes of the south.
After we ate our meal I went up to the Chef’s counter to take some pictures of some meats they had curing in a temperature and humidity controlled case. One of the Sous Chefs saw my interest and invited me into the kitchen to show me around and take some pictures. I was elated. Here are some of the pics I got.
Smoked and cured legs on a speed rack.
A big old tub of Chow Chow in the walk in cooler. Next to it is a tub of fresh Pompano which was going to be the nights dinner special.
Coppa curing in the walk in cooler. Various pickles and sauces, all nicely organized in the tight quarters.
Below the Coppa, housemade Tasso, and below that housemade bacon.
Legs in different stages of cure in dry storage.
A just delivered pig waiting to be butchered.
I can’t thank the gentleman who took me on a tour of the kitchen enough, it was a wonderful experience that I will always remember. I’m blown away by the things that these guys and gals are doing at Cochon. This is a huge undertaking, and there is a lot of work involved, hats off to the Chefs and their staff, this place is a labor of love and it shows. I can’t wait to come back.
Here is a video of Chef Stephen Stryjewski butchering a pig and making hot sausage with warm peaches.
For more great pics of some of the food at Cochon check out Jason Perlow’s Cochon post at Off The Broiler.
Robert at Appetites has a great review with pics here.
Cochon is located at:
930 Tchopitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes on this site!
Andouille Sausage Recipe
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Cochon Butcher right around the corner in the same building as Cochon
Pickle Meat Recipe