For years, my friends have made fun of my ardent, somewhat embarrassing love for bacon. I don't care. I think bacon is one of nature's most perfect creations, and despite all health warnings to the contrary, it's probably the one vice I will never, ever give up. Why, just this morning I stood at the stove in my bathrobe, frying up a crispy pile of the stuff and whacking my boyfriend with my kitchen tongs every time he tried to steal a piece. And come to think of it, I can't think of a single food that wouldn't taste better with bacon. (Raspberry Jello, I suppose, but there's probably a creative chef out there that's done something wonderful with that combination that I have yet to try.)
Perhaps I'll get my chance at Baconfest, Chicago's sizzling "bacon-nalia" (sorry) dedicated to all things pork belly. Come wallow with chefs and other foodies, fans and freaks as more than fifty top Chicago restaurants try to outdo each other in creativity, taste and the execution of their favorite bacon-laden recipes. Last year, everyone raved about the Mega-BLT from 694 Wine and Spirits and Stephanie Izard's savory bacon and bleu cheese soup from Girl and the Goat. This year's restaurant line-up is even more stellar, and features savory samples from the creative crews at SALUT! favorites Francesca's, Mercat a la Planxa, Spacca Napoli, and Terzo Piano. Even better, Baconfest 2012 is a fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, so you can pig out all afternoon for a really good cause. That's the good news.
Now here's the bad news. Tickets ($75 pp) to Baconfest 2012 have not gone on sale yet, but when they do, they're almost guaranteed to sell out -- and quickly. (Rumor has it that last year's event sold out in fifteen minutes!) If, like me, you want to be ready to pounce when tickets go on sale in February, go to www.baconfestchicago.com right now to get the mailing list, then "like" them on facebook and follow them on Twitter. PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT get your tickets through SALUT! -- you must purchase them on your own. You will not get into Baconfest without a ticket in your hand, even if you've RSVP'd here! If you have have any questions, email me at [masked].
You could also win free tickets by competing in the Amatuer Bacon Cook-off, or by creating the best Bacon Song, Bacon Video or Bacon Poem -- trust me, I'm trying to rhyme "frying pan" in my head right now! Again, see www.baconfestchicago.com for all the details. But for now, save the date (April 14th) for Baconfest 2012, RSVP here if you intend to go, and keep your eyes peeled for the announcement that these sizzling tickets are on sale.
Good luck, Baconators!