Baconfest 2015 was another hit for the 7-year-old event. Over 4,500 people attended three sessions over two days, sampled pork-centric dishes from 170 Chicago area chefs, and rolled home in a happy, bacon-stuffed stupor.
The festival did more than just make sure attendees ate like, ahem, pigs. Baconfest raised $75,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository to aid its mission in feeding those in need across the Windy City.
This year, Golden Rasher Awards were passed out in each session. In the Most Creative Use of Bacon category, the winners were Trenchermen’s bacon fried rice, Slurping Turtle’s Bacon Chiyawanmushi, and Vie’s bacon Slim Jim and bacon potato soup. For Front of House Presentation, The Bad Apple, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Knife & Tine, and Osteria Langhe wowed with their unique set-ups.
The Bob Nueske Commitment to Bacon award, recognizing chefs and restaurants who have participated in all seven years of Baconfest was also given out. The recipients included chef Troy Graves, chef Pat Sheerin, chef Nathan Sears, Signature Room, David Burke’s Primehouse, and Vie.
With so many incredible and creative bacon dishes served, it was tough to pick favorites. Someone’s got to make the hard call, though, so here are the top 10 bites from Baconfest Chicago 2015:
Osteria Langhe – Bacon Cigar: crispy pastry-wrapped sausage: crackling candy “embers.”
Frontier – Bacon-wrapped fried oysters: cornmeal-crusted with shrimp and bacon aioli.
Son of a Butcher Tavern – Pickled bacon chowder: smoked oyster relish and toasted fennel cracker.
Vanille Patisserie – Candied Bacon Caramel Tart: bacon fat bourbon caramel, candied bacon pieces, and maple mousse dome