Bacon Month Starts To Sizzle With Cocktail Party, Baconfest Menu Revealed
By Selena Fragassi in Food on Apr 2, 2015 7:45PM
Turns out it wasn’t a joke when Baconfest declared April to be Bacon Month in the city of Chicago. On Tuesday the group behind the popular culinary pig-out kicked off the 30-day celebration with a cocktail party at ACME Hotel’s Berkshire Room.
The sold-out event gave attendees the chance to drink up bacon-inspired cocktails made by four of Chicago’s elite bartenders, nosh on bacon bites such as BLT sliders and West Town Bakery’s delish bacon macarons and participate in a raffle that awarded tickets to the 7th annual Baconfest coming April 17 and 18 to the UIC Forum.
Before going home, guests also received a swag bag with themed pins, magnets, bacon-flavored lip balm and chocolate covered bacon also from West Town Bakery.
Our favorite drink by far was the rich “Breakfast Daquiri” from The Berkshire Room made with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Dark Matter Chocolate City cold-press coffee, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and grape jelly. It was a close call with the “Hawaiian Bacon BBQ” mixer from Benny’s Chop House that banked on a favorite combo: bacon and pineapple. In it was bacon-infused rum, pineapple-infused vodka, pineapple juice, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and smoked saffron simple syrup.
Also tasty was the sweet “Blackstrap Cobbler” from The Dawson made with Lustau Pedro Ximenex Sherry, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Gosling’s Blackstrap Rum, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup and garnished with crispy bacon. And our first drink of the night, “Bacon My Way Downtown” from The Berkshire Room, started the party with a good mix of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Luxardo Abano, aperol, cynar, Blackstrap Bitters and bacon mist.
The kickoff event came on the eve of Baconfest releasing its own menu on Wednesday. More than 170 chefs from around the city will put their best ideas on the block for attendees and for consideration in the Golden Rasher Awards ("the Oscars of the bacon world"). Here are some of the bacon bits you can expect:
For the Friday dinner
Milk Braised Bacon from Perennial Virant’s Edward Sura & Paul Virant
Honey mashed carrot, oat crumble, watercress, ramp mostardo
Wagyu Beef Loco Moco from Sunda New Asian’s Jess DeGuzman
Applewood smoked bacon with wagyu beef and bacon gravy, quail egg, jasmine rice, topped with spicy banana ketchup
Bacon Praline Bread Pudding from Big Jones’ Paul Fehribach
Bacon and rum bread pudding with goats milk cajeta, bacon, benne, and bacon fat whipped cream
For the Saturday lunch
Grilled Pork Belly from Celeste’s Nick Lacasse
Honey poached cranberries, roasted carrots, Anson Mills grits
Bacon Chiyawanmushi from Slurping Turtle’s Takashi Yagihashi
Shiitake mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, bacon-dashi glaze and wasabi
Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings from Paddy Longs’ Pat Berger
Alpha King beer-battered bacon-wrapped onion rings with house-made curry ketchup
For the Saturday dinner
Sweet Onion and Bacon Candle from Travelle’s Tim Graham
A sweet onion and bacon marmalade topped with a bacon candle
Falafel Italiano from Three Aces’ Matt Troost
Bacon and cannellini bean falafel with whipped bacon fat hummus, bacon sambal, and porchetta spiced tzatziki
The Bourbon Babe (“That’ll do pig”) from Pi Gallery Bar’s Nick Martaus
Cocoa nib-infused bourbon, maple black pepper simple syrup, plum bitters, and candied, applewood smoked bacon