One of the most epic food events of the year, Baconfest Chicago is back for its 8th annual event April 30 through May 1 at the UIC Forum. Featuring an enormous roster of chef and restaurant talent from throughout the city, guests will be able to sample bacon in ways they never thought possible. Far beyond typical breakfast fare, the two-day affair features bacon in everything from maki rolls to cinnamon rolls. And other non-roll formats.
Here's a taste of what to expect at this pork-tastic showcase.
Baconfest 2016 has amassed more than 150 Chicago chefs, each tasked with dreaming up the most delicious (and sometimes wackiest) bacon creations imaginable. The event is divvied into a 3-part schedule of various meal categories, each with a different roster of chefs and menu items. This includes a Lunch category on April 30, followed by a Dinner category that same day, and a Brunch category on May 1. This way, attendees aren't necessarily too overwhelmed with bacon all at one time.
The lunch session on April 30 features items like:
- BLT maki roll from Jellyfish,
- bacon steak and eggs by Burger Bar,
- bacon cheddar cheesecake by Carnivale,
- bacon corndogs by Chicago q,
- bacon bread with bacon butter and jam courtesy of Pleasant House Bakery, and
- bacon cinnamon rolls from West Town Bakery.
Come dinnertime, expect items like:
- bacon oatmeal bourbon cream pies by Atwood,
- bacon-infused piña colada from Farmhouse,
- bacon gelato cake via Black Dog Gelato,
- bacon hatch green chile elotes by Flo Cafe & Bar,
- bacon paella by Salero,
- maple caramel bacon pecan bars from Stan's Donuts, and
- maple bacon cotton candy from Knife & Tine.
During the brunch session the next day, bacon items range from:
- cheesy bacon bourbon bites from Chop Shop,
- bacon banh mi from Bottlefork,
- bacon pastrami Reubens by The Brixton,
- candied bacon and pork liver parfaits by Community Tavern, and
- bacon maple dashi braised bacon by the Freehand Chicago.
In case you're looking for a little altruism to make you feel decent about pigging out on bacon all weekend, know this: Baconfest donates a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
For more info, the full schedule and to snag tickets, visit baconfestchicago.com.
General Admission: $100.00 (plus $3.49 ticketing fees)
VIP: $200.00 (plus $5.99 ticketing fees)
Food and beverage photos by Anne Petersen, crowd photo by Ben Collins-Sussman