I sent intern Kristen Kuchar out to cover Saturday's Baconfest at UIC. Here's her report:
The second annual Chicago Baconfest lived up to the high expectations of more than 1,500 bacon lovers on Saturday. Crowds began to form two hours in advance of the opening; the result was something out of Homer Simpson's dream and a cardiologist's nightmare. Entries ranged from the simple, like the hearty but delicious BLT from 694 Wine & Spirits, to Big Jones' bacon and foie gras moonpie. Somewhere in between were my personal favorites: Heaven on Seven's comforting chicken, bacon creole on parmigiano-reggiano cheese grits, served with jalapeño cheddar bacon cornbread and onesixtyblue's pastrami cured pork belly reuben.
Almost as many sweet dishes were prepared as well: Atwood Cafe's bacon cannoli and a bacon sundae bar offered by Cafe Des Architectes, which featured bacon soft serve ice cream topped with a choice of bacon chocolate sauce, pineapple bacon sauce or bacon and toasted coconut.
To wash it down, the booze was plentiful. Piece Brewery paired bacon pizza with their Big Black Mariah beer, an American-style porter that had a touch of smoked malt flavor to compliment the pizza. Bacon drinks included a slightly spicy Bloody Mary made with Bakon Vodka and a tart chocolate bacon drink. Congratulations to Vie's Nathan Sears, who took home the Golden Rasher award for best dish at the event. More on him in our next post, later today...
If you didn't make it out this year, take a glance at the short video and mark your calenders for next April.
- Kristen Kuchar