24 hours until Baconfest and my shot at the Golden Rascher award for best amateur bacon cook
Come Saturday afternoon, some 2000+ Chicago bacon enthusiasts (including yours truly) will descend upon the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavillion to spend three hours wandering a smokey, salty, porktastic wonderland, featuring bacon-themed dishes by 50 of Chicago’s best restaurants, a bacon booze bar and exhibition hall of purveyors of all things bacon.
I’m beyond excited (and rather nervous!) to compete against my talented and creative would-be chef competitors in the Nueske’s Baconfest Amateur Cook-Off. Bacon Du Jour interviewed all six of us, providing an interesting look at the bacon creations vying for the coveted Golden Rascher award.
- Irene Rivera’s Bacon Date Jam Thumbprint cookies
- Tyler Hall’s Lavender Vanilla Caramel Bacon Cheesecake
- Elizabeth Schuler’s Bacon Country Meatloaf
- Monica Sehgal Sharma’s Tandoori Bacon Nachos
- Joe Ruenwald’s Bacon Schnitzel
- and of course, my Flourless Spiced Bacon Chocolate Torte with Maple Brown Sugar Candied Bacon
This is the first time I’ve ever entered my cooking in a competition. The torte’s been through several rounds of taste-testing, with the final tweaks noted last weekend. I’ll be spending my Friday night baking two tortes, since I need 20 servings for the judges. Hopefully, I’ll have good news to report when I post my write up of the ‘fest after Saturday!
Oh, and for those of you in Chicago, check out this week’s edition of The Chicago Reader and go to page 47. I’ve been informed that the Reader did a write up of the competition and my name’s in print!