12th Annual Baconfest Chicago Returns

Baconfest Chicago

The 12th Annual Baconfest Chicago returns on Saturday, April 18, 2020 to the UIC Dorin Forum (725 West Roosevelt). Baconfest Chicago is an annual tasting festival that draws the finest culinary talent in Chicago together in one room to celebrate bacon in all its forms. Over the course of two sessions (Lunch & Dinner), bacon enthusiasts will enjoy a unique menu of creative bacon dishes and its own lineup of celebrated chefs – all vying for the coveted Golden Rasher Awards.

In addition to delicious bacon dishes, attendees can peruse offerings from luxury brands, artisan bacon-makers and bacontrepreneurs vendors. Local mixologists and brewers also serve up their best bacon-inspired cocktails, beer, and wine throughout the two sessions.

Creators of Baconfest Chicago also look to give back and support the Greater Chicago Food Depository with a donation from events proceeds, a raffle on-site, and a food drive at both events. Over its 11 year history, Baconfest has generated more than $480,000 in donations to the area’s largest food bank. This translates to more than 1.5 million meals for hungry people in the Chicagoland community.


General Admission tickets offer access to a three-hour tasting session of their choice with unlimited tastings of creative bacon dishes. VIP tickets give guests an hour of early access to the annual pork-a-palooza. All ticket types (other than Bacon-Only) include seven drink tickets good for beer, wine, and cocktails.

Saturday Lunch – April 18 (PRESENTED BY JEWEL-OSCO)

  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM VIP Hour
  • 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM General Admission

Saturday Dinner – April 18

  • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM VIP Hour
  • 7:00 PM -10:00 PM General Admission

Baconfest Tickets:

  • General Admission Tickets: Full Price: $85 + fees. Three hours of bacon splendor, up to 7 drink tickets included.
  • VIP Tickets: Full Price: $160 + fees. Includes all of the above plus one hour of early access to Baconfest.
  • Bacon-Only / No Alcohol – General Admission $60 + fees – Save with Bacon-Only tickets – take advantage of unlimited bacon dishes and complimentary soft drinks. No alcoholic drinks included in admission; alcoholic beverages are NOT available for purchase.
  • Group Rate General Admission (Minimum 5). $70 + fees – Bring your whole bacon-posse and save. Buy 5 or more general admission advance tickets and save $20 on each ticket.

The Golden Rasher Awards

Hollywood has the Oscars. Broadway has the Tonys. Baconfest has the Golden Rashers. Chefs compete in two categories: Most Creative Use of Bacon and Best Front of House Presentation, with winners taking home engraved pewter pigs. Most Creative Use of Bacon comes in two flavors: Judges’ Choice, awarded by a panel of handpicked judges from the Chicago food world and People’s Choice, selected by Baconfest attendees who vote for their favorite by text message. For the bacon public, a prize is offered for Best Bacon Poem.

2019 Winners Include:

Friday Dinner

  • Best Front of House Presentation: XO Marshmallow – Chef Melissa Humphrey
  • Best Bacon Dish – People’s Choice: Victory Tap – Chef Joseph Farina
  • Nueske’s Bacon Focaccia – Nueske’s bacon, roasted onions, shaved pecorino focaccia
  • Most Creative Use of Bacon – Judge’s Choice: Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar – Chef Guy Meikle
  • 5-Spice and Sichuan Peppercorn Pastrami Bacon – bacon-fat bao bun, Korean chile sauerkraut, tobiko Thousand Island

Saturday Lunch

  • Best Front of House Presentation: Rack House Kitchen & Tavern – Chef Bryant Anderson
  • Best Bacon Dish – People’s Choice: Cooking Skills Academy – Chef Miguel Rangel
  • Promiscuous Pork Belly – 48 hour red braised pork belly
  • Most Creative Use of Bacon – Judge’s Choice: Davanti Enoteca – Chef James Day
  • Candied Bacon, Medjool Date & Stone Ground Polenta Spoon Bread – bacon whipped lardo, Calabrian chili, honeycomb, radish

Saturday Dinner

  • Best Front of House Presentation: The Broken Barrel Bar – Chef Bryant Anderson
  • Best Bacon Dish – People’s Choice: McWethy’s Sports Bar – Chef Dan Casey
  • Bacon Braised Brisket Tacos – bacon salsa, cilantro, chopped onion, chef-made tortillas
  • Most Creative Use of Bacon – Judge’s Choice: Yolk – Chef Taki Kastanis
  • K.F.B. (Kentucky Fried Bacon) – panko-crusted bacon with a bourbon glaze and blueberry BBQ sauce

Did you hear? The creators of Baconfest are launching Da Best Fest, the newest chef tasting festival devoted to the iconic dishes of the Chicago culinary landscape. Guests will sample creative and traditional versions of all Chicago favorites, plus get to know a few lesser-known Chicago originals. Think Italian beef, hot dogs, pizza, flaming saganaki, jibaritos, aquarium-smoked rib tips, chicken Vesuvio, shrimp de Jonghe, malort, and more. Da Best Fest debuts Friday, April 17, 2020, from 6pm-10pm at the UIC Dorin Forum (725 W Roosevelt). Discounts are available for bundles, including tickets to Da Best Fest and Baconfest Chicago’s Saturday Dinner session. Visit www.dabestfest.com for more info and tickets.

  • General Admission Bundles – $140 + fees: save $20 and get GA tickets to Da Best Fest and Baconfest Saturday Dinner
  • VIP Bundles – $240 + fees: save $50 and get VIP tickets to Da Best Fest and Baconfest Saturday Dinner


Baconfest Chicago holds its 12th tasting event on April 18, 2020 at the UIC Dorin Forum (725 West Roosevelt). Ticket holders gain access to a bacon-wonderland where the city’s best chefs hand out amazing creative bacon snacks. Luxury brands, artisan bacon-makers, and bacontrepreneurs display, sample, and sell a multitude of bacon products. The best mixologists and brewers hand out bacon-inspired cocktails, beer and wine. To celebrate special achievement in the bacon arts, Baconfest gives out Golden Rasher Awards (the Oscars of the bacon world). Best of all, Baconfest is good for America. In addition to hosting a food drive and raffle at the event, Baconfest Chicago donates a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Since 2009, Baconfest’s support has resulted in nearly $480,000 for Chicago’s food bank, which translates into more than 1.5 meals for hungry people in the area. For more information visit: www.baconfestchicago.com.


Chicago born and raised. Always looking for new places.

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