On April 6th and 7th, Chicago's biggest bacon bacchanalia will feature over 140 restaurants, highlighting 40 - 50 of the best chefs in the city at each of the three sessions with on-trend dishes as well as dishes that defy all the rules. "However powerful the trends may be, our menu also serves as powerful evidence that creativity obeys no fashion - there are singularly unique items on the menu this year (as there are every year) that defy all categorization," explained Baconfest co-founder Seth Zurer.
Baconfest Menu Trends for 2018
1. Cheddar - serves as a counterpoint for the savory depth of cured pork. The dishes that will bring home the cheddar include: Tap House Grill's Cheddar Stuffed bacon featuring Merkt's cheddar and bacon deep fried in a beer batter; CP West Loop's Johnny Cakes with jalapeño and
cheddar with Bacon Jam, and topped with bacon-infused bourbon maple syrup and bourbon whipped cream; and Wow Bao's Chinese Breakfast Bao with cheddar inside.
2. Grits / Polenta - a savory grain that pairs beautifully with pork. The restaurants exploring grits and polenta pairings include: Bar Takito's cheesy Three Sisters Polenta with candied pork belly; Nonna Santi's Polenta Bacon Biscotti; Bang Bang Pie's Bacon-Fat Grits with pimento cheese and chives; and the Signature Room's pairing of cheddar cheese grits with spicy maple glazed bacon.
3. Fried Balls - featuring rice and bread stuffed with bacon, rolled into balls and dropped into hot oil. Dishes featuring bacony balls of goodness include: Baconfest newcomer Hearth and Crust's Arancini Affumicati rice-balls stuffed with with bacon and cheese; Orso's Bacon Risotto Fritters stuffed with bacon and provolone; and Monti's Breaded Bacon Meatballs served with warm rocky pepper cheddar sauce.
4. Dumplings (Both Filled and Solid) - the fest will feature tamales, pierogies, raviolis, dough-wrapped bacon, or simply bacon dough. Next-level bacon dumplings include: The Delta's Bacon Cush featuring a bacon tamale, charred pepper, mornay, chicharron; The Duck Inn's Bacon Fat Tamale filled with duck confit and Iberico Bacon XO Sauce; Flo and Santos Polish Piggie Pierogi featuring a dumpling wrapped in bacon; and Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar's Russian-accented Bacon-Roasted Sunchoke and Cottage Cheese Pelmeni in a rich bacon dashi.
Tickets can be purchased here: https://baconfestchicago.com/