In an unsuspecting mansion in Logan Square, nearly 1,000 food enthusiasts gathered on April 10 to celebrate their love of one sizzling breakfast favorite: bacon.
Vendors from all over the U.S. came to Stan Mansion for the Second Annual Baconfest in order to show off their products, which ranged from bacon-flavored floss to bacon cupcakes.
Over a year ago, three theater friends, Seth Zurer, André Pluess and Michael Griggs, got together and organized a small gathering for approximately 75 people where they served a few bacon dishes with matched up beers.
“My partners went to see a musical about craft beer,” Zurer says, “and they were flabbergasted that someone would care that much about beer just to make a musical. And I thought, what do we care that much about? Bacon.”
Immediately upon walking in, the venue unmistakably disclosed the presence of elaborate bacon concoctions prepared by the 24 renowned chefs asked to participate in Baconfest.
This year’s event consisted of 20 vendors, including the creators of bacon hot sauce, bacon farmers from Michigan, the author of ZINGERMAN’S GUIDE TO BETTER BACON and Enjoy, a Chicago general store that features products such as bacon band-aids and Mr. Bacon’s Big Adventure, the meat-lovers version of Candyland.
To accompany the plethora of bacon entrees, the event was sponsored by four liquor brands, including Bakon Vodka, which debuted on U.S. shelves this April. This first meat-flavor spirit is ideal for Bloody Marys and chocolate martinis, according to one of its founders, Sven Liden.
One of the traditions carried over from the first Baconfest was the Golden Rashers, or the Oscar Awards of Bacon, according to Zurer. This year they were getting passed out for best bacon entrée as well best bacon poem.
Baconfest’s creators hope to continue the annual tradition and expand next year’s repertoire of items that go way beyond the simple companion to morning eggs and toast.