So this is part 1 of 2 blogs that never got, well...blogged. For some reason (oh I don't know, having a full time day job, writing for the Weekly and trying to be a good husband and cat dad) after I uploaded these pics they just sat there until I realized that, wow, I never did anything with it.
The Bacon Fest happened in mid-November and it is now mid-December so the heat from the competition has pretty much cooled off.
As you know when I Homeskillet I try to get content out as soon as possible but this one lingered so apologies to all that were involved.
To break it all down I had a super awesome time judging this one. Although, honestly, it was a little odd having it start at 2pm and not later in the evening, as they traditionally do, which might account for the Tucson Convention Center being not as packed with people as it could have been or how Bacon Fests of the past usually run. Still! The turnout was good and the food was even better.
As a judge, this one was an endurance test. Myself and the four other judges had to sample 23...23!!!...different dishes that were all infused with bacon.
Not to mention we were also sampling beer from the various local breweries that were in attendance, along with tequila and some whiskey. Hoo doggies were we feeling good!
We had bacon mac and cheese, a pork and bacon Cubano sandwich, bacon ice cream, bacon cake, bacon cotton candy (yes...you heard that correct), bacon wrapped hot dogs and sometimes just bacon. By mid judge I was pretty stuffed and I wasn't even finishing what was placed in front of me. Just tasting, getting the gist. I ate a lot of veggies the night before and the day after and only had some fruit for breakfast that morning to get the belly ready but not content. It was a lot to take in but we did it and when all was said and done I had a freakin' blast.
I'm pretty sure that Cubano sandwich won 'Best Of' because that is exactly what it was: the best. So flavorful, juicy and above all so bacon-y.
I love being a part of the Tucson culinary scene and getting tapped to judge events like this just makes me so happy. This was my last one for 2017 and hopefully 2018 will be chock full of competitive local food awesomeness.
No...I know it will.
2018 will also be a year when I take the Homeskillet into a new direction. It's an ambitious endeavor on my part and was easier when I first started it a few years ago because I had the time. Now that the Tucson Weekly keeps me busy, uploading a minimum of 10 pictures and 1,000 words at least once a week is tough when you're trying to manage life and other responsibilities.
For now just enjoy some of the images from the 2017 Bacon Fest.
Man...it was porking good.
|Chef Gary and his prized pig|
|Let's get this started|
|Bacon mac n cheese|
|This hammy Cubano was the best thing all day|
|About halfway done, getting full|
|Bacon whipped cheesecake with candied bacon|
|We were 20 plates down here...insane|
|The debacle on the judges table|
|And the winner is!|
Camera, Typing and Eating of all the Bacons
"Metal" Mark Whittaker