With more than 100 chefs, restaurants, mixologists and culinary experts from all over NYC, there was one place for bacon fans to be this weekend: The Great Big Bacon Picnic in Williamsburg.
Now in its second year, the event featured bite-sized tastes that gave restaurants and bakeries a chance to show how they treat this ever-so-adaptable, tongue-in-cheek culinary treat. It’s high, it’s low, it’s sweet, it’s savory, and bacon is a great, hearty comfort food for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons. In between tasting and sampling and foodgasming, I did manage to gather some ideas on how you can bacon-up your next get together (or your life in general).
Bacon crumbles atop a creamy and delicious seafood chowder (like this one from Off the Hook Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria) will hit the spot on a chilly Fall day.
The flavor of Traif’s Dulce de Leche doughnuts was substantial enough to hold up to a generous sprinkling of the star ingredient of the day.
Who doesn’t love a deviled egg? Here, Ho’Brah Tacos makes it extra devilish: the egg yolk is whipped up with some avocado before being topped by chipotle bacon.
This image doesn’t do it justice, but the bacon-wrapped figs stuffed with gorgonzola from Naive, a tapas art bar in Brooklyn, just melted in your mouth in the most amazing way.
How about a little bacon love on days when you wanna still stick with your health goals? This BLT lettuce wrap is an idea from Cow & Clover that does just that.
A “bacon bar” with several delicious types of bacon was positioned at the front, just to let you know that resistance was futile.
The pickled vegetable slaw took this bite-sized beauty, a Braised Bacon Bahn Mi Crostini from Chadwick’s Restaurant, from good to great. Plus, “micro-cilantro” sounds like something bougie you want to make fun of, but here it makes perfect sense.
Not being a foodie means I can’t really pronounce what this is: a cheddar bacon grougere, which the kind and patient staff from Midnights describe as like a cream puff but with cheddar and bacon. If you’re my speed (the kind that grew up going to wedding receptions that were held in church basements) they may remind you of a cheese ball. Just way fancier and a little less Jesus-y.
Rhoda, from Rhoda Cookies, and I agreed that it was the surprising mix of salty and sweet in these bacon chocolate cookie that made them so unforgettable. (Get an up-close look at the cookies here and follow Rhoda on Instagram. Why wouldn’t you?)
These fried bacon pear bites from Brooklyn Baked & Fried get their glaze on…
Before you get your grub on. The tart of the pear was fantastic against the richness of the bacon. Big (sticky with glaze) thumbs up!
Take it to go.
Forget the oily, strange mystery meat from your youth. Now, jerky’s all grown up, with help from companies like Chef’s Cut, who give a little love (plus simplicity and transparency, in terms of what the hell is in it) with this savory throw-it-in-your-bag-and-go snack.