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Food Festival

Last weekend, Baconfest Chicago finished its tenth year feeding over 4,000 bacon lovers and foodies with nearly 8,000 pounds of Nueske's Bacon. Chicago's top chefs from 140 restaurants joined together in the festival at UIC Forum for three sessions of bacon-inspired cocktails, craft beer and unlimited bacon treats.

Baconfest Chicago presented $30,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, an organization that makes sure no one goes hungry in the Second City.  In ten years, Baconfest Chicago has raised more than $430,000 for their charity partner, which translates to more than 1,300,000 meals for hungry Chicagoans.

As part of each session, participating chefs competed for the Golden Rasher Award, an award to celebrate special achievement in the bacon arts.  A panel of judges gave awards for "Most Creative Use of Bacon" and "Best Front of House Presentation." For the first time in Baconfest

history, fans had the chance to choose a winner, too - guests voted by text-message for their favorite dish to receive the "People's Choice" Golden Rasher award.

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The 2018 winners of each award are as follows:

Friday Dinner- April 6
Best Front of House Winners - Kinzie Chophouse
Most Creative Use of Bacon Winner - Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar - Guy Meikle - Bacon Roasted Sunchoke and Cottage Cheese Pelmeni with bacon dashi, butternut squash kimchi, bacon dough
People's Choice Winner - Victory Tap Chicago - Joe Farina - Bacon Ricotta Agnolotti with
Bacon, Sage and Brown Butter - pasta stuffed with ricotta and bacon, sauteed with bacon, sage and brown butter

Saturday Lunch - April 7
Best Front of House Winners - Wrigley BBQ
Most Creative Use of Bacon Winner - Honey Butter Fried Chicken - Christine Cikowski, Josh Kulp, Cam Waron - Bacon & Fried Chicken Ramen - with pimento cheese dashi and candied jalapeños
People's Choice Winner - Rack House Tavern- Bryant Anderson - The Flying Swine - hickory smoked pork belly, fried chicken skin, homemade pickles, truffle Dijon sauce, micro cilantro, lemon zest

Saturday Dinner - April 7
Best Front of House Winner - XO Marshmallow
Most Creative Use of Bacon Winner - Bar Takito / Takito Kitchen - Yanni Sanchez - Three Sisters Polenta with Candied Pork Belly with premium cheesy polenta with pickled chilis, candied pork belly and freeze-dried corn
People's Choice Winner -  McQ's Bar & Grill - Alton Morris - Sweet & Sour Bacon Wings - jumbo chicken wings smothered with sweet & sour bacon sauce

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