WBEZ | Baconfest 2012 http://www.wbez.org/tags/baconfest-2012 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The source of all bacon: Baconfest Chicago 2012 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-04/source-all-bacon-baconfest-chicago-2012-98348 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestredbuttergulab.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px;" title="Red Butter bacon-chile gulab jamun with bacon-pistachio brittle (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></p><p style="text-align: left; "><em>"Whenever you're at a brunch buffet and you see that big metal tray filled with the 4,000 pieces of bacon, don't you expect a rainbow to be coming out of it?&nbsp;'I found it! I found the source of all bacon!'"</em></p><p style="text-align: left; ">Food-obsessed comedian Jim Gaffigan has a brilliant "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaK9bjLy3v4">Bit of Bacon</a>" and his words speak to the heart—the ever-slowly beating heart—of&nbsp;<a href="http://baconfestchicago.com/">Baconfest Chicago</a>.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">Held this past Saturday at UIC Forum, it wasn't all about piggery. The <a href="http://baconfestchicago.com/about/bios">Baconfest Triumvirate</a> of founders&nbsp;also donated a big $50,000 check&nbsp;to the <a href="http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer">Greater Chicago Food Despository</a>—and 3,000 Baconfesters brought&nbsp;2,298 pounds of food for the food drive. But yes,&nbsp;4,257 pounds of <a href="http://www.nueskes.com/">Nueske’s</a> bacon was prepared by 107 restaurants, split into two sessions, lunch and dinner.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">I served as a judge again, this year on the esteemed lunch session bacon bench with the <a href="http://stevedolinsky.com/?p=8131">Hungry Hound himself, Steve Dolinsky</a>; the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/04/16/a-cinderella-story-at-baconfest">Reader's masked Mike Sula</a>; and the <a href="http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=17&amp;t=23400&amp;p=413204#p413204">hatted David Hammond</a>. After a Sartrean discussion, we chose the winner of the Golden Rasher Award for Most Creative Use of Bacon:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.redbutterchicago.com/">Red Butter</a>'s&nbsp;Monica Sehgal Sharma and her&nbsp;bacon-chile gulab jamun with bacon-pistachio brittle—a newcomer and underdog.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">Our eight lunch session finalists follow below.</p><p style="text-align: left; "><em>"Even the frying of bacon sounds like applause."</em></p><p style="text-align: left; ">John des Rosiers team from Inovasi fried chunks of pork belly on-site—in duck fat.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestinovasibelly.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Inovasi pork belly, farro verde, and wild ramp salsa (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><div style="text-align: left; "><em>"To improve other food, they wrap it in bacon."</em></div><div style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left; ">Or lace it with bacon fat, and smother it with a crisp, fatty chunk—as did&nbsp;Big Jones' Paul Fehribach with his take on biscuits and gravy.</div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestjonesbiscuit.jpg" style="text-align: center; width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Big Jones bacon fat biscuit with crispy bacon, pea gravy, and piccalilli (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><em><span style="text-align: left; ">"B</span>its of bacon are like the fairy dust of the food community...'Not interested in a salad? Bippty boppity bacon!'<span style="text-align: left; ">"</span></em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith redefined bits and salad, and perhaps even fairies.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestnapolisalad.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Spacca Napoli pea, bacon, and Pecorino salad (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><div style="text-align: left;"><em>"Not many ways to prepare bacon. You can either fry it or get botulism."</em></div><div style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;">Or make bacon rice crispies, as did Hearty's Dan Smith, with your choice of cereal infused milk (à la&nbsp;<a href="http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/milk-bar/">Momofuku Milk Bar</a>'s&nbsp;Christina Tosi).</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestheartykrispies.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Hearty bacon rice crispies with cereal milk (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><em>"It's amazing the shrinkage that occurs. You start with a pound, you end up with a bookmark."</em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">No, uh, shrinkage with Moderno's bacon cannoli, opening soon by des Rosiers.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestmodernocannoli.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Moderno bacon cannoli with Parmigiano-Reggiano and pea powder (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><em>"Really the only bad part about bacon, it makes you thirsty—for more bacon."</em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Even when hidden in a bacon pancake pop, by&nbsp;Zed451's Kate Milashus.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestzedpancake.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="ZED451 bacon pancake pop in bourbon glaze (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)"></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><em>"I never feel like I get enough bacon. At breakfast, it's like they're rationing it."</em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Definitely no rationing by Lillie Q's Charlie McKenna—or any Baconfesters. See photos of all 2012 dishes <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/opacity/sets/72157629827839525/with/7082410143/">here</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">The dinner session Most Creative winner was&nbsp;Matt Troost of Three Aces with his&nbsp;<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/opacity/7082894025/">Shake ‘n' Bake</a>: a bacon “shake 'n bake” with bacon bolognese and vanilla-bacon-bourbon milkshake. It's available this week as a special at the restaurant.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">See the full list of limited edition Baconfest specials <a href="http://baconfestchicago.com/rollyourow">here</a>—aka the source of all bacon.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/baconfestlilliesqbeignets.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 899px; " title="Lillie's Q bacon custard filled bacon beignet with Café Du Monde coffee and chicory bacon syrup (Baconfest Chicago/Anne Petersen)"></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 18 Apr 2012 13:29:59 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-04/source-all-bacon-baconfest-chicago-2012-98348