Home Cooking

Bacon Fest - Do It Yourself

April 24 2015 - 9:00 AM
With over 4,500 attendees, 170 chef’s and $75,000 raised for the Great Chicago Food Depository, Bacon Fest 2015 is officially a wrap. I’ve rounded up 3 of my favorites from the fest and found similar recipes so that you can re-create a bit of Bacon Fest at home to impress your brunch guest; or just enjoy on your couch in your PJ’s binging on Scandal episodes. Bacon doesn’t judge.


Our first dish is from Benny’s Chop House and Chef Aaron Lindgren, Maple Crème Brûlée with Bacon-Walnut Crisp. This dish was the prefect balance between salty and sweet. To re-create this recipe for your brunch guest you will need to start with a Maple Creme Brulee recipe . Then to jazz it up you can top it with bacon crumbles and a bit of Walnut Crumble Topping similar to this one from Brown Eyed Baker. You can serve your creation in the traditional ramekin or on fun single serving spoons like Benny’s Chop House did.


Our second dish comes from the popular Avondale restaurant Honey Butter Friend Chicken and Christine Cikowski & Josh Kulp. Fried Chicken French Toast with bacon honey butter and maple bourbon syrup. Though this dish was delicious I think it might be a bit overzealous for some of us to put together on a sleepy sunday for brunch so I’ve chosen a similar dish that doesn’t include frying up chicken. This Ultimate Bacon-Maple French Toast recipe from Taste of Home can be made the night before and just thrown in the oven an hour before your guest arrive. To take this amazing recipe a step further you can jazz it up by topping it with Honey Butter or Bourbon Maple Syrup.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken – Fried Chicken French Toast – Baconfest 2015

 Our last dish comes from Stout Barrel House & Galley and Chef Michael Matthews. His Bourbon Braised Bacon Biscuit Slider consisting of a Buttermilk bacon cheddar jalapeño biscuit with bourbon braised bacon, pickled onion & zucchini, with a country style bacon gravy, topped with candied bacon & cayenne pepper was my favorite dish of the Saturday Lunch session I attended. This dish has many components and will take a little extra preparation, but many things can be prepared days in advance.


The first thing you will need for this dish is get a thick piece of bacon. This isn’t something you will really find at a conventional grocery store so you’ll have to head to a butcher, like Publican Quality Meats. Biscuits can be made 1-2 days ahead or up to a week if placed in the refrigerator, but I would suggest making them day of if you have time!

Here is a Bacon-Cheese Biscuit recipe from the Food Network that will work great, feel free to add Jalapeno’s if you want a little heat. The Pickled Onions and Zucchini add a needed acidic brightness so definitely don’t skip them. They can be made months, weeks or up to 3 hrs in advance with this recipe from the domestic queen herself, Martha Stewart. Store bought pickles could be substituted for the same affect in a pinch.

To make the creamy Country Bacon Gravy I can’t think of a better recipe than one from Southern Chef Paula Dean. Last but definitely not least you will want to top your creation with some sweet crunch Candied Bacon. If you have never made this delicious treat before it’s bound to become a brunch staple. It is very easy to make and a great change of pace from traditional fried bacon.