Lincoln, NE (April 28, 2017)—News that bacon-inspired treats were being served drew hundreds of hungry connoisseurs to sample the creations of 25 leading Lincoln-area restaurants and eateries at Star City BaconFest 2017. The Cornhusker Marriott hosted the event on Sunday, April 23.
The annual event, sponsored by the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) and the Nebraska Restaurant Association (NRA), benefits culinary students in the state by providing over $5,000 in scholarships through the NRA’s Hospitality Education Foundation.
Attendees sampled a variety of savory and sweet creations, including such crowd-pleasers as Snicker Kickers, served by Cappy’s Hot Spot Bar and Grill, which featured a fried Snickers bar with sugar cured bacon and cool ranch Doritos in the batter, then topped with chocolate sauce, whipped topping, bacon bits and cool ranch crumbles.
BaconFest-goers were asked to vote for their favorite treats again this year.
First place: Venue, for its Spring Nettle Pesto, Crispy Coppa Bacon, Citrus Braised Pork, and Parmesan Cheese on Lafa Flatbread, topped with Pickled Ramps and Fermented Garlic Honey Sauce. Second place: 9 South Char Grill, for Pulled Pork Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Bacon Rangoon, Bacon Pizza, French Grilled Bacon and Cheese with a Bacon Whiskey Glaze; and third place went to Coop’s Corner, for its Pulled Pork Bacon Mac and Cheese.
Music to eat bacon by was provided by “The Lightning Bugs,” a popular Lincoln-area band.
“Lincoln’s talented chefs outdid themselves this year,” said Brandy Nielson, membership and marketing coordinator with the Nebraska Restaurant Association. “Their bacon creations were definitely outside the box and were enjoyed by everyone. And thanks, too, to Hormel for providing all the bacon used by the chefs.”
Jane Stone, domestic marketing director for the NPPA, agreed. “Everyone loves bacon,” she said, “and Star City BaconFest provides a fun way to promote Nebraska-produced pork products. It’s a natural!”
Participating vendors include: Pepsi; 9 South Char Grill; Billy’s Restaurant; Brewsky’s; Cappy’s Hot Spot Bar and Grill; Coop’s Corner; Dino’s Eastside Grill; HiWay Diner; Hickory Road BBQ; Hormel Retail; Smoking Gun Jerky; The Single Barrel; Traeger Grills; Venue; Moka’s Kitchen; Hy-Vee, 84th and Holdrege; Miller Time Pub; The Cornhusker; McKinney’s Irish Pub; Nebraska Pork Producers; Leadbelly/Toast; Super Saver; That Place Steakhouse & Saloon (Ceresco); The Eatery; Hurts Donuts; Blue Blood Brewing Co. Hormel Foods provided bacon products for the chefs to use during the event.
BaconFest attendees voted Venue’s entrée first place. From left, NPPA President Russ Vering; Venue Chef John Benton, and Venue Sous Chefs Jamen Danielson, Andrew Spilker; NPPA Executive Director Al Juhnke; and Brandy Nielson, Nebraska Restaurant Association Membership and Marketing Coordinator.