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Bacon-inspired Goodies Draw Big Crowds to Star City BaconFest 2016

Lincoln, NE (April 26, 2016)– If you want to draw a big crowd, tell them you’ll be serving bacon.

Star City BaconFest 2016 proved this theory again this year as about 600 bacon lovers packed the Cornhusker Marriott on Sunday, April 24 to sample bacon-infused treats created by 25 of Lincoln’s leading chefs. Attendees sampled a variety of savory and sweet creations, including bacon-inspired cupcakes, bacon-laced krispy bars and cookies, and even ice cream.

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.

BaconFest attendees were asked to vote for their favorite bacony treats. Winners were:

First place: Venue, for its Harissa Braised Pork Slider with baconnaise, wild ramp kimchee, and crispy pecan bacon; Second place: Hickory Road BBQ, for its Pork Burnt End topped with Spicy Candied Bacon; and third place: Coops Corner, for its Bacon Ice Cream.

Music to eat bacon by was provided by popular area band, “The Lightning Bugs.”

“Participating vendors and their very creative chefs really made the evening,” said Brandy Nielson, membership and marketing coordinator with the Nebraska Restaurant Association. “They created many bacon-based treats that were definitely outside the box and were enjoyed by everyone. And thanks, too, to Hormel for providing all the bacon used by the chefs.”

“Bacon is the ideal way to promote Nebraska-produced pork products,” said Jane Stone, the NPPA’s domestic marketing director, because it’s everyone’s favorite. Star City BaconFest has become a drawing card for all the bacon lovers in our area. There were a lot of happy faces making the rounds of the vendors’ booths.”

Participating vendors included: 9 South Char Grill; Billy’s Restaurant; Brewsky’s; Cappy’s Hot Spot Bar and Grill; Colleen’s Catering; Coop’s Corner; Dino’s Eastside Grill; HiWay Diner; Hickory Road BBQ; Hormel Retail; LeCupcake; Lincoln Olive Oil Shop; Smoking Gun Jerky; The Single Barrel; Traeger Grills; Venue; HopCat; Hy-Vee; Miller Time Pub; The Cornhusker; Blue Blood Brewing Co.; McKinney’s Irish Pub; SuperSaver; and Pepsi. Hormel Foods provided bacon products for the chefs to use during the event.

2015 Star City BaconFest Wrap Up

Star City BaconFest 2015 Puts Smiles on the Faces of Hundreds of Lincoln-area Foodies Sunday, May 17 at the Cornhusker Marriott

Bacon-lovers turned out by the hundreds Sunday, May 17 for Star City BaconFest 2015 to enjoy the yummy goodness of bacon-inspired savory and sweet treats served up by chefs from many of Lincoln’s favorite restaurants. They were able to sample a variety of items from bacon-topped cupcakes to bacon- wrapped sausages, and even bacon cheesecake.

The event was such a success that the date for Star City BaconFest 2016 has already been set. So mark your calendars for Sunday, April 24, 2016, from 3pm-6pm at the Cornhusker Mariott, organizers said.

The event, sponsored by the Nebraska Restaurant Association (NRA) and the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA), helped to support the Nebraska ProStart program and to provide culinary scholarships to students entering the hospitality field. The NRA’s Hospitality Education Foundation will receive over $5,000 as a result of the success of BaconFest.

BaconFest attendees were asked to vote for their favorite bacon-inspired treats. Their winning favorites were:  First place: 9 South Char Grill. Their creation was whiskey barrel smoked bacon with Jack and Cola bacon tomato jam and Amish peanut bacon butter sliders with candied bacon and pecans. Second place: Rodizio Grill. They served their seasonal Jalapeño bacon-wrapped ham. Third place: The Single Barrel. They served their bacon-wrapped smoked pork tenderloin with Shiitake mushroom and bacon compote.

In all, 20 vendors participated in the event: Billy’s Restaurant; Cappy’s Hot Spot Bar and Grill; Colleen’s Catering; Greta’s Gourmet Butcher Shop, Deli & Catering; Nebraska Pork Producers; Smoking Gun Jerky; The Cornhusker Marriott; The Eatery; The Single Barrel; Little Caesar’s Pizza; Traeger Grill/Schaefer’s; 9 South Char Grill; Super Saver; McFarland’s & Sons Authentic Irish Pub; Le Cupcake; Miller Time at the Cornhusker; Misty’s; Skeeter Barnes; Rodizio Grill; and Brewsky’s.

Beer tasting was provided by Miller Time at the Cornhusker, with entertainment by popular area band Tuna Fish Jones.

“Thanks to all the participating vendors and chefs,” said Brandy Nielson, membership and marketing coordinator with the NRA. “Their creativity and skills made BaconFest a great time for the Lincoln community to enjoy the many ways bacon can be incorporated into what we enjoy eating. And thanks, too, to Hormel for providing all the bacon used by the vendors.”

“What better way to promote Nebraska-produced pork products than with bacon, everybody’s favorite,” said the NPPA’s Jane Stone. “Star City BaconFest put smiles on a lot of hungry faces, and I heard nothing but praises from the crowd of samplers.”

“We are already looking forward to Star City BaconFest 2016 next April 24,” she said. “All vendors have indicated they will participate again next year.”

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