I must admit, back in March, when my neighbor Seth first told me of the recently hatched plans for Baconfest Chicago over slices of Hoosier Mama Pie, I stifled a yawn.
“Sure, kid,” I thought, “when pigs fly.”
But this vision of a daylong celebration of the finest piece of the pig was not the idle dream of a shiftless lollygagging wastrel. After just a few months of relentless boosterism via Facebook, Twitter, and quaint face-to-face pressing of the flesh, Seth Zurer, along with fellow organizers Michael Griggs and Andre Pluess, have brought the bacon bacchanal one big step closer to coming off. Just yesterday they put a deposit down on Logan Square’s classy Stan Mansion. Mark your calender for October 25.
But the questions remain open. What’s gonna happen? Who’s gonna be there? Per Seth, “I can say that from the start there has been a lot of interest but basically everybody has been waiting to hear about the date and venue.” After hectoring dozens of chefs, producers, potential sponsors, journalists, and bacon lovers, the Baconfest triumvirate envisions a range of artisanal pork producers and bacon entrepreneurs sampling and selling their wares, alongside booze makers large and small, pro and amateur bacon cookoffs, bacon-related improv, a bacon supergroup . . . and the ideas keep coming.
“Every time I have a conversation with someone about Baconfest they come up with something that ought to be a part of Baconfest,” Zurer says. “And I say yes to everything.”