Baconfest Chicago!

That’s right folks, in case you haven’t heard Chi-town is getting its very own Baconfest. Baconfest Chicago! Can you smell it?

There is something about bacon that just about everybody loves.  (We’ve all heard the “I’m a vegetarian ….except for bacon.” “I keep Kosher, except for…” (You guessed it) BACON!!!))

The idea stems from three guys: Seth Zurer, 32, of Albany Park, Andrè Vonbaconvitch, 36, of Andersonville and Michael Griggs, 30, of Ravenswood.

Last winter, Griggs and VOnbaconvitch were at a Neo-Futurists rock musical production about artesian craft beer, intuitively named “Beer.” After the show, the two were discussing what they would be as passionate about and talk turned to bacon. They called Zurer, one of the founders for the culinary chat site, LTH Forum and launched a Baconfest Chicago Facebook page in February. (As of this moment the page has 1,488 fans.)

Originally the trio had baconary dreams of taking over Grant Park this fall with a three-day festival. Realizing that a smaller scale might make more sense in the inaugural year, they opted for a new plan. Instead, they are hosting a “Preview Cook-Off” from noon-2 p.m. at the Publican on Oct. 24.  A star-studded cast of chefs:

Troy Graves - Eve
Rick Gresh – David Burke’s Primehouse
Gil Langlois – Chalkboard Restaurant
John Manion – Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub
Michael McDonald – one sixtyblue
Chris Pandel – The Bristol
Jason Paskewitz – Gemini Bistro
Nathan Sears – Vie
Patrick Sheerin – The Signature Room
Giuseppe Tentori – Boka

will cook their hearts out for 60 lucky ticket buyers. (Sorry folks, tickets sold out, according to Zurer, in less than 48 hours after going on sale Sept. 21)

So mark your calendars for April 10, 2010 for Baconfest Chicago. As of right now, Zurer says, ticket sales will go on sale in the beginning of November, and the group intends on hosting at Logan Square’s Stan Mansion, a converted Masonic assembly hall that hosts weddings and other special events. Tickets sales for the one-day event will top out at 800, with prices being around $25, Zurer says. BUT, if more people are interested, (Very Likely) Zurer says they might add an additional date or change venues if necessary to accommodate more people.

The fest will be a huge expo-like event with beer, and everything bacon. It tentatively includes Bleeding Heart Bakery, which makes bacon cupcakes and Katie Das of Das Foods with her Maple Syrup & Bacon “Man Bait” Lollipops.

“Bacon is one of those foods that inspires immense passion. It is unashamedly bad for you. It is an actual decadence that people can identify as a decadence and not something healthy,” Zurer says. “…I grew up in a nominally Jewish household, my mother wouldn’t bring bacon in the house, but we’d eat it whenever we went out for breakfast… so there’s a thrill about bacon since it is the forbidden fruit.”

If you feel the need to indulge more, go to baconshirts.com where you can get your “I Heart Bacon” panties on.