The Chicago Bacon Takedown!


This weekend, I decided to completely ignore my health, listen to my stomach, and attend the Chicago Bacon Takedown.  This bacon cooking competition had me eating 20 of the strangest bacon dishes you could ever imagine, including bacon hot chocolate, bacon gingersnaps, and so much more!  Learn more about these bacon dishes after the jump!

So how did this competition work?  Twenty competitors were each given 15 pounds of Hormel bacon.  Then, they had the difficult task of coming up with the strangest, most unique, most delicious bacon concoction known to man!  The winner would receive over $1500 in cookware, so there was a pretty hefty prize at stake.

The competition was held at Lincoln Square, a small venue in Lincoln Park, and I paid $15 to walk around and try as many bacon-infused dishes as I could fit in my gullet.  Here’s what my first plate was filled with:


(clockwise from top)
1. Bacon Hot Chocolate
2. Homemade Bacon English Muffin with Bacon and Cheese Topping
3. Plain old bacon! (we were given this to munch on while we were waiting in line)
4. Bacon Caramel Popcorn
5. Bacon Caramel Popcorn with Nuts
6. Bacon Jam on a Ritz Cracker
7. (center) Bacon Risotto with a Bacon-Wrapped Date

And that was just one plate!  Here’s the other:


(clockwise from top)
1. Bacon “Caramel Apple”
2. Bacon and Asiago Quiche
3. Bacon Caramel
4. Bacon Shortbread
5. Bacon Donut
6. Bacon and Brussels Sprouts
7. Bacon Girl Scout “Samoa”
8. (center) Bacon Gingersnap

I have never in my life had such a strange assortment of foods!  Mostly everything was super-tasty, but my personal favorite was the bacon jam.  It was sweet, savory, and incredibly inventive.  Learn how to make it here! My second favorite was the bacon and asiago quiche.  Although it wasn’t very original, it was so rich and delicious, and it was a nice change of pace after eating all the bacon sweets.

The official winner, however, was Rafael Lopez who made the bacon English muffin with a bacon and cheese topping.  I did enjoy that dish, but it was far too greasy for my taste (but hey, it was cooked in bacon grease, so what can you do?)

Overall, it was a really fun time.  My arteries still feel like they’re clogged 2 days later, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

If you’re a bacon lover like me, check out our highest-rated bacon recipes:
Bacon-Wrapped Chestnuts
Cheddar Bacon Hamburgers
Hearty Mac and Cheese Strata with Bacon
Wilted Cabbage Salad with Bacon
Bacon Baked Beans

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  • Donna

    What’s better than bacon? MORE BACON!

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