4 tons of bacon in 2 days: Baconfest returns to Chicago

CHICAGO -- More than 150 chefs, some Michelin-honored and James Beard nominees included, created unique pork dishes for the 9th Annual Baconfest Chicago.

Baconfest co-founder Seth Zurer said what started as a little bacon party has grown into a three-session bacon marathon with 4,500 foodies walking through the doors at the UIC forum.

"It's really an amazing bacon wonderland; everywhere you look someone's trying to give you [something] 'baconey' and delicious," Zurer said. Zurer said bacon is special because it gives people "that good feeling of remembering childhood breakfasts with your family."

Nueske's out of Wisconsin provides 8,000 lbs. (4 tons) of bacon for the fest.

"It's a little luxury, it's comfort food, it's just a little bit of something that's really tasty, and a lot of people cook it to bring back good memories and give you good feelings," Megan Dorsch of Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats said.

Braised, fried, pickled, wrapped, chopped, smoked, candied: they do it all. Sprinkled on a cannoli, or dipped in chocolate, on a stick or on top of a donut, bacon works for breakfast or dessert.

The minds behind Baconfest say they're planning a dumpling fest called "Wrappers Delight" in the fall.