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Many industry observers point to the need to increase national demand for pork as an important objective for overcoming the on-going economic challenge faced by producers. Here is an event that is just what the observers are requesting.

Kansas City’s inaugural Bacon Fest confirmed the idea that bacon is not just for breakfast any more. In fact, on Saturday, Aug. 29, local bacon lovers were treated to such creative dishes as bacon ice cream, bacon popcorn, bacon-infused vodka and chocolate lava cake with caramelized bacon.

The three-hour event also served as a fundraiser for Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City.

“Our first Bacon Fest was a great success drawing about 300 people,” said Dana Chatlin, director of External Affairs, Rehabilitation Institute. “We had no idea that there were so many bacon lovers out there. The event raised nearly $15,000 to help disabled children and adults.  

Also on hand were a few more traditional uses of bacon including pulled pork sandwiches topped with bacon crumbles as well as bacon-topped pizza. The event featured a recipe contest which judged the best bacon recipe.

A bacon-eating contest was also staged at the event. Pork Associate Editor Rick Jordahl participated in the contest. Farmland Industries donated 15 cases of bacon that was smoked by Adams Rib BBQ for the bacon eating contest and for guests to sample. 

Also on-hand for the event were, Jason Day and Aaron Chronister creators of the Bacon Explosion- a sausage and bacon “casserole” invented by the Kansas City area residents. The Bacon Explosion recently captured nationwide attention.

Sponsors and vendors for the event included:

  • Ameristar Casino and Hotel
  • Wendy’s International
  • BBQ Addicts
  • Northern Lights Pizza
  • Adam’s Rib Original K.C. Barbeque
  • The Drop
  • The Bacon Explosion
  • Belly-Up BBQ
  • Boulevard Brewing Co,
  • TNC community
  • The Rehabilitation Institute Auxiliary
  • Murray's Ice Cream and Cookies
  • Mix 93.3
  • Q104

Winners of the Bacon Recipe Contest were:

  • First Place:  Matthew Scanlon: Jalapeno Poppers with bacon, jalapeno, pulled pork, cream cheese and spices. The winner was awarded a crown bearing the name " Royal Porker."  Scanlon is an avid bacon fan and is a member of a local bacon club. 
  • Second Place:  Sara Shaughnessy:  Salmon Bacon Cheesecake with bacon, smoked salmon, onion, red bell pepper, butter, eggs whipping cream, cream cheese, gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
  • Third Place:  Linda Gilmore (Sara's Mom):  Bacon Wrapped Chicken Saltimbocca with bacon, chicken, cheese, shallots, oyster mushrooms, white wine, chicken stock and spices.
  • The bacon eating contest winner was Patrick Wachtel. who earned the title of "Baconator" and proudly donned the sash bearing the name.