• Ron Kaplan
  • Chris Pandel’s “breakfast braciole”

In terms of attendance, Saturday’s Baconfest Chicago Pro Cookoff at the Publican (the precursor to the main event in April) was a bit of a sausagefest, with dudes (quite a few of them in matching meat couture) outnumbering females by about two to one. Apart from that, it defied most stereotypes of the supposedly moribund bacon fad, with ten chefs turning out thoughtful, creative dishes accompanied by smart beer pairings, with nary a hint of gratuitous looniness (even though attendees were given bacon lip balm in their goody bags).