All photos by Patty Michels
The first thing you need to know about Baconfest is it took place at the UIC Forum right next door to the reptile convention. THE REPTILE CONVENTION. Okay, maybe that’s not the first thing YOU need to know, but I sure as hell wish I’d known. I would have worn my hazmat suit or carried a machete or at very least parked across the street.
Anyway, once I’d made it past a building I knew was seething with POISONOUS SNAKES, I spotted the line for Baconfest. Though the dinner shift didn’t start for another hour, outside the UIC Forum, the line snaked from the building coiling like a....nevermind. I’m not going to think about it.
Inside, I was given drink tickets, a Baconfest tote bag and was directed into the event space. “You’ll be able to smell it,” the vegetarian working the press table told me.
She was right; the room's aroma was a bit like the alley behind a Chinese restaurant, but visually the space was pristine. Friendly and outgoing, the staff cleared tables, emptied garages, and refilled soda bins. The chefs and food-workers manning each booth seemed cheerful and informed, happy to share their offerings and curious about what their neighbors had concocted. Overall, the event was one of the most well-organized I’ve attended.
I mentioned in a prior blog that I’m not so much a bacon person, but I’m definitely a chocolate person, and luckily there was plenty: chocolate chip cookies made with bacon grease, chocolate chip and bacon bit dotted cannoli, chocolate bacon biscotti and more.
Adjacent serpents aside, Baconfest seemed a smashing success, even for a non-bacon-lover like me.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," (Soft Skull press) is available for pre-order here. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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