It’s that time of year again here in Cowtown – Bacon Camp, the celebration of all things bacon. We had a fantastic time this past weekend, but the entry is very, very picture heavy.
See more about this year’s Bacon Camp under the cut….
I was so happy this year when I found out I’d be able to enter a dish into Bacon Camp this year, Columbus’ 2nd annual version of the national event hosted locally by Wild Goose Creative. Since they were holding it at the North Market this year (a bigger venue, since it was so popular last year that the Wild Goose Creative space on Summit could barely contain it), the same weekend as the Greek Festival to coincide with International Bacon Day, parking was at hard to come by. Even with a late start, I had plenty of time to whip together my bacon fried rice dish on site to present to the judges.
Knowing the importance of presentation, I decided to put their portions into transparent takeout containers with a pig outline on front, and chopsticks tucked into the top for easier eating. I used double smoked bacon from Thurn’s, and local eggs from 2Silos, because I knew that using quality local ingredients would bring out the best in a dish I had grown up on.
Imagine my surprise when I won the competition. I didn’t stray too much from my usual recipe, with the exception of adding easily twice as much bacon (if not more – I used three pounds of bacon total in two wok-fuls) – I cooked half until crisp and sprinkled it on in the end for added crunch, and the other half that I cooked with the veggies had more of a pork-belly texture to it. Also, in order to amp up the bacon flavor a bit, I drizzled a bit of rendered bacon fat in at the end and stirred through. I’m pleased as punch with the prize bag of swag, and if tradition holds, I’ll get to be a judge for next year’s Bacon Camp. I can’t wait!
The event was hosted by Nick Dekker of Wild Goose Creative, who also has a food blog at Breakfast with Nick.
And here’s a picture of our brave judges before they started and bacon fatigue set in.
The competition was stiff, though! Here’s what some others made for the event:
I can’t say I had the opportunity to try the facon. I had a limited amount of space on my small plate, I filled every inch of it (and then some) with meaty bacon, not meatless bacon. I do believe that Shibnum Blewett won by default with her Facon Rolls:
Although it wasn’t entered into the competition, Chef Laura Robertson-Boyd also made a facon dish – a “Facon” Pizza: a Pizza Bianco with fresh spinach, caramelized onions & veggie bacon on homemade focaccia dough.
I unfortunately didn’t get the name and/or a picture of the winning dish in this category, as it wasn’t out when I was taking photos, but it was a Bacon Wrapped Ground Beef log, I believe.
Karl Gamertsfelder made a Savory Goat Bacon Flan
Kirsten Cox made a Simple Bacon Summer Salad
Nikki Kelly made a Bacon Breakfast Cake
The sweet entries far outnumbered the savory ones. Some were expected (for example, three different people made variations of chocolate covered bacon), others were a little more surprising (like the excellent sweet potato & bacon cupcakes, and equally excellent bacon baklava)
Jenn Burraway made a Bacon Carrot Cake
Christy Murphy made Hog Heaven (chocolate covered bacon)
Julianna Carvi made Sweet Potato Bacon Chili Crunch Cupcakes
AnnMarie McCallister made Bacon Baklava
Ariel Trudeau made Chocolate Covered Bacon with Flake Sea Salt
Roberta Terrell made Bacon English Toffee
Not entered into the competition, but also available in sweets:
Two different kinds of cupcakes from 3 Babes and a Baker
There was also a really tasty Bacon Apple Pie
There was also a competition for bacon related crafts, and here were the entries I saw, with the top prize going to Richard Meara for his Breakfast Drums:
Here are the other craft entries that I saw:
Lots of vendors and/or sponsors there, too – including Sugardale giving away free bacon, ThoughtCo making BaconCamp t-shirts, and Bluescreek (shown below) giving away free tote bags:
Candle Lab was even letting people pour their own bacon candles:
If tradition holds, as this year’s winner, next year I’ll get to be a judge. Can’t wait! I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on a Saturday afternoon than munch on bacon.