Chicago BaconFest 2015

Yes, there is a such a thing!!!

I hinted at it last week…and here it is…the blog about BACON!  Short was doing a little googling and stumbled upon Chicago BaconFest 2015 and forwarded me a link.  Needless to say, we bought tickets and had our flights planned that very same day.  I mean, it’s bacon.  We had to. When it comes to bacon, I have to agree with stand up comedian Jim Gaffigan.

Jim Gaffigan

If you have never seen his bacon based stand up, click through here (Jim Gaffigan on Bacon) and get ready to laugh your ass off.  It’s funny ’cause it’s true.  Jim hails from Indiana which is a stones throw away from Chicago and I’m guessing that they sort of worship at the Church Of Bacon down there.

Short and I paid $100 per ticket which was a little frighteningly high for a food event.  Typically we pay $20 or $30 for entry and then $3 – $8 per food item but the difference here is that once you are in … you’re in and all food and drink is yours to be had.  No waiting to pay.  No waiting for change.  No waiting to be served.  Chicago BaconFest 2015 had it all down to a fine art and absolutely killed it.

I downloaded the list of bacon-y items that were going to be featured by the restaurants on the Friday night that we were scheduled for so that I could figure out a strategy plan during my flight to Chicago.  I’m that kind of a person.  I love a plan.  A cursory view to checkmark the dishes that I wanted to eat took the total down from 57 to 29.  Another go-over to rate the remaining dishes with stars, brought it down from 29 to 20 and then I painstakingly pared it down to 16 finalists.  It was difficult what with descriptions like this:

“The Ultimate Bacon Bison Bite – cherrywood bacon and goat cheese infused bison with pepperoni aioli and jalapeño, wrapped in smoked bacon and drizzled with a blueberry buffalo bacon dipping sauce.”


The air was filled with the most scrumptious bacon-y aromas as we waited patiently in line for the doors to open and by the time they let us in, everyone was primed and ready to go.  We headed over to an aisle that had a lot of our top picks and started with the dish we were both dying to try.  Chef Patrick Sheerin from Trenchermen had come up with this…

Trenchermen - Bacon Fried Rice

Bacon Fried Rice, Bacon Fat Hoisin, Bacon XO & Peanuts – cherrywood bacon, forbidden black rice, Berkshire bacon, house made bacon fat hoisin sauce, toasted peanuts, charred scallions, lime, ginger, garlic, chiles, cilantro, egg and lots and lots of love.  Jesus.  It was fantastic.

At this point, we started to get a little frenzied.  Yes, after one dish.  Well, one bite really.  There was bacon buzz in the air and laughing and lots of people saying, “Yum!”  Now, I’m going to sidebar here and say that Short wasn’t drinking and I was.  She’s great because, even though she doesn’t drink alcohol, she likes when other people do.  And I’m a fun drunk.  Like dance on the bar kinda fun if I get crazy enough.  So, every time there was a shot offered, I took it.  It started with some moonshine.

Old Smoky Moonshine

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine was offering up 4 drinks with super fun names.  Moonshine Cherry, Hunch Punch Cooler, Electric Lemonade and Blackberry Blast.  And I had one of each.  What?  They were just little.  Then off to more food booths!

Bacino's - Toasted Bacon Ravioli

Toasted Bacon Ravioli by Bacino’s Restaurant – Applewood smoked bacon crusted ravioli, ricotta bacon basil filling with a dab of bacon mustard jam

Epic - Bacon & Fudge Ice Cream Cone

Bacon & Fudge Ice Cream by EPIC Restaurant – Applewood smoked bacon and fudge ice cream in a waffle cone dipped in spiced chocolate sauce

Black Dog Gelato - Affogato Float

Chilled Affogato Float by Black Dog Gelato – Turkish coffee poured over our vanilla gelato with bacon whipped cream and candied bacon bits

This dish was the best of the night for me because it was perfectly balanced and not too sweet.  Spectacular.

Chicago 365 Hospitality - Red Velvet Bacon Spoon

Red Velvet Bacon Cup with raspberry and mango by Chicago 365 Hospitality

Things started to get mega fun.  I mentioned that I had 4 drinks, right?  Well, there were another couple thrown in there from different booths which added to the fun-ness big time.  This is about when I started to say things like, “Skews me?  Du yu sink I could take a pissure of your daddoos?”

BaconFest Tattoo 2BaconFest Tattoo 1

And “Less eat zum really fucked up zings.”

Fresco 21 - Pork Soda 2Fresco 21 - Pork Soda 1

“Diss place has lossa yummy sweet sings”.

Courageous Bakery - Maple Bacon Cupcake

Maple Bacon Cupcake by Courageous Bakery – Maple cake donut dunked in maple glaze topped with maple roasted bacon

Lockwood - Bertha's Bacon Brownie Bar

Bertha’s Bacon Brownie Bar by Lockwood Restaurant and Bar – Chocolate brownie topped with crispy bacon, wants and Palmer House Private Label Woodford Reserve Bourbon-infused rooftop honey

Sheekar Delights - Maple Bacon Baklava

Maple Bacon Baklava by Sheekar Delights – Hand buttered phyllo sheets rolled with freshly chopped walnuts and bacon then drizzled with a mixture of homemade syrup, locally made maple syrup and bourbon

Things started to slide pretty dramatically and by the time I took this next picture, I was pretty sauced.  I tried to focus 4 times and this is the photo that was the least blurry.  Yikes.  I think it was meatloaf?  I’m not sure how Short was dealing with me but I’m sure I was still being Fun Time Long.  Yep.  I’m sure of it.  Sort of.  Okay, a sloppy version of Fun Time Long anyway.

Ceres Table - Bacon Meatloaf

We will ABSOLUTELY be attending Chicago BaconFest 2016.  It was, by far, the best run and tastiest food event we have ever attended.  Plus, Chicago is a pretty freakin awesome city to boot.  Next year, I will drink less alcohol so that I’ve got room for more bacon.  And so that I can focus the camera.  Or maybe not.  Because it sure was a tonne of fun just the way it happened.  Alcohol included.

2 Comments on Chicago BaconFest 2015

  1. Yowza. Sounds like quite the ‘cure’ for a long winter. Like a ‘bite’ out of a great book. Like could I ‘smoke’ that stuff? Like I should have been there. Thanks for sharing your bacon story.

    • You are very punny! Way to come up with a series of them. I was gonna go there but I held back. I encourage that. Big time!

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