Chef Whole Pig Competition

Top Regional chefs go head to head in a whole hog competition. Each chef will be offered a half heritage breed hog, one-quarter of beef, and a goat, all sustainably raised on farm pastureland. It will then be up to each chef to plan and prepare 5 to 7 small dishes to be judged by YOU and a panel of professional judges. After the votes are tallied, a winner will be crowned and awarded a one-of-a-kind SloPig cast iron pan poured just for this event.   


Thomas Lents

Chef Daniel Bonanno

Pig in a fur Coat
Madison, WI

Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Daniel Bonanno grew up in an Italian household where he learned at an early age, he had a passion for food. Upon graduating high school he attended Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota. From there he interned at Grand Geneva Resort and then started work at Mangia Trattoria in Kenosha. Having created a love of Italian cuisine, he decided to study abroad at Apicius Culinary School in Florence Italy. While living in Italy he worked at a couple Michelin rated restaurants and submerged himself in the culture. Upon returning, Dan went to nationally acclaimed restaurant, Spiaggia in Chicago.

Wanting to put in use what he learned in Italy and get closer to farmers and ranchers, Madison was the perfect location and there he opened, with Bonnie Arent, A Pig in a Fur Coat. Within months Madison named A Pig in a Fur Coat best new restaurant and by the end of the year Dan was nominated for Rising Star Chef. Always striving for the perfect flavor combination, the evolving menu is served in a lively, casual atmosphere on communal tables.
Cole Ersel

Cole Ersel

Executive Chef, WolfPeach
Milwaukee, WI

Fueled by passion and a 6,000-pound wood-fired oven, Wolf Peach Executive Chef Cole Ersel pairs beautiful ingredients from local farms, purveyors and artisans to create food to feed the soul. A Watertown, Wisconsin native, Cole graduated from the culinary program at the Art Institute of Colorado, returning to work at notable Milwaukee restaurants Carnevore, Hinterland, and Roots. Cole opened Wolf Peach as Sous Chef, curating the butchery and charcuterie programs, ultimately talking the helm as Executive Chef in 2014.

A longtime champion of local farms and artisans, sustainable culinary practices and responsibly sourced ingredients, Cole thoughtfully creates menus that reflect a sense of place and time. Inspired by the rich Wisconsin terroir, his culinary style focuses on bringing high quality seasonal ingredients together with attention to detail, integrity and traditional techniques he has honed. Cole takes great pride in Wolf Peach’s on-site garden. Guests are often surprised to see culinary staff and bartenders out on the grounds harvesting ingredients. Through hard work and dedication to Wisconsin’s storied agriculture history, he and his team are able to provide a unique experience to patrons. Whether sharing his knowledge and inspiring the public to choose good, clean food, donating his time and skills to charitable events or regularly preparing meals for local shelters such as Meta House and Guest House, Cole believes in giving back to his community and strives to be catalyst for positive change.

Andrew Wilson

Chef Andrew Wilson

The Madison Club
Madison, WI

Chef Andrew Wilson began his culinary career as a teenager at Trattoria Stefano, an authentic Italian restaurant, and Il Ritrovo, a wood-fired pizzeria, both located in Sheboygan, WI. Taking to heart the restaurants’ natural approach to cooking and using local, organic and fresh ingredients, Chef Wilson was inspired to continue his career as a sous chef at The Gardens of Avila in Avila Beach, CA. In 2008, family and a strong love for Wisconsin prompted a return back to his home state for Andrew. Joining the Madison Club’s culinary team as a sous chef, Andrew designed unique menus for Churchill’s Restaurant and developed strong relationships with local farmers, chefs, food producers and suppliers – something he greatly enjoys to this day. Taking on the role of Executive Chef in early 2012, Chef Wilson is dedicated to advancing the Madison Club’s culinary reputation, creating gourmet and unique menus, and establishing Churchill’s as a leader in Madison’s local food movement.

 Francesco Mangano

Francisco Mangano

Osteria Papavero
Madison, WI

Studied at University of Bologna ( History degree , graduated in 1998 ) and University of Siena ( Master in Food & Wine Tourism, and Promotion of Local Products; graduated in 2004 )
Lived in Madison, WI for 17 years
Worked in Bologna ( Ristorante il Bargello del Marchese ) and Ferrara ( Italy )
Also worked in New York ( Felidia Ristorante ), before starting at Harvest in Madison ( 2001 , and 2004-2005 ); then Cocoliquot ( 2005 ) before opening Osteria Papavero ( 2006 ; First restaurant in Madison to start a HACCP program for our own salumi/cured meats )

Francesco Mangano

Chef Mike Gorman

Chef De Cuisine, The Bristol
Chicago, IL

Words can not describe Mike Gorman. Meet him to find out more!