Lincoln Cafe chef wins pig cooking competition

Sunday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette ran a story about the Lincoln Cafe, along the Lincoln Highway in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Owner and chef Matt Steigerwald won the Cochon 555 competition held in Des Moines on April 19. Below is the story and a photo of the place by PBS producer Rick Sebak.


Cochon is French for pig, so 5 competing chefs prepared a Heritage Pig for judging and public tasting. Steigerwald was the only chef not from Des Moines. The chefs prepared the pigs in their own restaurants and transported them to the competition—for Steigerwald, a 2-hour drive. Some of the items Steigerwald made were pozole (a Mexican soup made with pork and hominy), a pork belly confit, biscuits made with lard, head cheese and Carolina pork barbecue.

Steigerwald took home a bottle of Templeton Rye and a trophy that declared him the “Prince of Porc.” The competition is traveling nationally and will be in Chicago next on May 24. For more information go to

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