Baconfest Chicago: how much bacon can you eat in 3 hours?
All the bacon at Baconfest Chicago.
If you know me, you know one thing. OK, so maybe two things. You know I like the color pink. And you know I like bacon. I like bacon a lot. I’ll put bacon in everything including my potatoes and my brownies. So, of course, when I heard about Baconfest Chicago, a festival devoted to all things bacon, there was no way I wasn’t going to go.
Baconfest was split up into two shifts and my friends and I chose to go to the second shift: a bacon extravaganza lasting from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday. Chelsa and I got there slightly before three, were handed a bacon lollipop and went to check out the bacon perfume while waiting for others to arrive. JoeW and Meredith came in shortly after (and JoeM and Alina shortly after that) and we headed in further to check out the bacon venders.
There were bacon cookies and bacon popcorn and bacon syrup (to make bacon flavored chocolate milk and Pepsi) and bacon cupcakes (my favorite was the BLT) and bacon belts and bacon donuts and free jars of Baconnaise.
Bacon bourbon caramel popcorn.
Bacon chocolate milk
And of course, there was bacon.
And that was just the first floor!
After exploring that level thoroughly, we headed upstairs for more bacony goodness!
First up was to redeem my drink coupon. I went with a spicy and bacony blood mary.
And then it was on to the main ballroom for bacon-chef-apalooza: twelve area restaurant chefs cooking up the best of the best in bacon cuisine…and here’s what we ate!
What we ate at Baconfest Chicago:
Bacon Rillettes, Coddles Egg Dressing, Pickled Ramps, and Bacon Fat Griddles Brioche Croutons
Gnocchi with Pancetta Ragu
Hominy with bacon, pork belly, jalapeño, and cheddar
Bacon Snickers Bar
Bacon Ice Cream with carmel and candy bacon
Irish Breakfast with Pork Belly, Blood Sausage and pickled cabbage leaf
Spring pea bacon and pecorino salad
The Purple Pig
Bacon and cod sausage
Pastrami-style bacon with kimchee coleslaw
The Signature Room
This one was supposed to be a lyonnais salad with pork belly, but they ran out of salad, and we got the last pieces of bacon
Pork belly with peas and braised onions
After bacon, bacon, and more bacon, it was time for, well, more bacon! We had bacon sangria and a bacon vodka and chocolate milk (surprisingly very tasty). And then went back downstairs for more samples and to buy some bacon. I ended up with a pack of Spencer’s Irish Back Bacon which I had sampled and loved because it was a little meatier than the bacon I’m used to.
It was an awesome day of bacon awesomeness. And I think I’m still in a bacon coma. Afterwards JoeM told me that this was the best outing I have ever planned…although if you know me you know that that really probably isn’t saying much 🙂
Have I used the word “bacon” a record number of times in this post? Yeah, this was a lot even for me! It’s hard to say which dish was my favorite as I quite enjoyed them all. The bacon ice cream was delicious. The Irish breakfast was yummy and I think they win my vote for the fact that I ate something with the term “blood sausage” in the description. I liked Vie’s pork belly. I liked the tacos. I liked Southwater’s dish and I liked the gnocchi…I think I pretty much just liked bacon.
Can’t wait to do it again next year!
More photos from Baconfest Chicago:
Magda KranceApril 12, 2010at12:03 pm
Wow, wow. My EYES are drooling after that visual feast… I can only imagine the aroma! Viewing this before lunch….just cruel. Excellent reporting, Val!!
Moira TuffyApril 12, 2010at8:40 pm
WOW! never knew I could develop such a huge hankering for bacon. now sure if I should thank you or not 😉 but seriously, fun post. thanks!