How a Chef-Favorite Bacon Became Available to the Public
The Monterey, California-based Baker's Bacon has been popular with chefs since it first became available in 2011. Helmed by Chef Tony Baker of Monterey's Montrio Bistro, Baker's Bacon was recently added to the Allen Brothers catalog, now making it obtainable by the general public for the first time. Offered in three varieties -- English-Style "Uncured" Back Bacon, Dry-Cured Double Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, and a peppered version of the aforementioned Dry-Cured option -- the brand was co-founded with Steve Sacks of Oakland, California's acclaimed Prime Smoked Meats.
To learn more about this wonderful, thick bacon and what separates it from the pack, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Tony. More on him and his bacon can be found on the Allen Brothers website.
The Daily Meal: Everyone who eats meat seems to love bacon, but what makes your bacon different from others on the market?
Chef Tony Baker: For starters, the pork! It’s always heritage breed, humane certification, never antibiotics, vegetarian diet, and more. Both my styles of bacon are produced with the chef in mind with the emphasis on flavor and texture before cost, which hopefully equates to value. My Back Bacon is very unique in the U.S. as we have this cut just for us. We naturally cure the whole mid-section of the pig including the loin, some may refer to this as the “long back.” Ultimately, my dry cured bacon is just that, cured without pumping with water. So the result is a good chew, mouth-feel, yield, flavor. Also, there’s always natural smoke from actual hardwood chips.
Your bacon is newly available to the public. What inspired you go public with it?
Demand, I’d get emails almost every day through the website asking, “Where can I buy it?”
How did you wind up working with Allen Brothers?
Allen Brothers is a well-known player in the mail-order meat business. Allen Brothers was acquired by one of my main distributors, The Chefs Warehouse. It was a natural fit.
Who were some of the first chefs or companies to order your bacon?
Well, aside from my restaurant Montrio Bistro, which has a very bacon rich menu, early adopters have been chef Matt Bauldin at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, chef Todd Fisher of 7th and Dolores, Carmel and the TV show the United States of Bacon, chef Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards and Cindy’s Back Street Kitchen in Napa, and The Bench restaurant at Pebble Beach.
Besides eggs, is there a food that you feel your bacon pairs best with?
Peanut butter, crusty French bread, or burgers.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
A favorite for sure is 4th and Charles. They are part of Chicago’s Hogsalt Group. This group is very particular and operates business at a very high level, so to see and taste our Dry Cured Double Smoked on the menu brings a tear to my eye!
Finally, Chef Tony, any last words for the kids?
If you’re into real food, eat real bacon!