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My dietary limitations used to be pretty straightforward. After college I self diagnosed digestive problems to mean I needed to stop eating beef and pork, which I did for many years.
Except for the occasional bacon. Because. Bacon.
I still never eat beef, it just doesn’t taste good anymore. I am not wild about pork chops or tenderloin. But the girl likes all kinds of meat, so more stuff has crept in more often. Fried ham in the grits. And of course, bacon.
Passionate bacon fans in Northwest Arkansas will soon have a chance to sample the bacon-spiked concoctions of teams of cooks when the first-ever Bacon Bowl comes to the Northwest Arkansas Mall on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Teams of up to 4 will compete for both professional and amateur awards for best entree and desert. An overall winner will represent the Bacon Bowl at the 2014 New Orleans food festival in March. The prize pack includes a three-night, four-day stay at a French Quarter hotel.
There will also be prizes for best booth design and most innovative use of bacon. And for the non-chefs out there, there’s a bacon eating contest.
The event is sponsored by Petit Jean Meats, an Arkansas company best known for its bacon but that also makes hot dogs, sausages, ham and will even ship you a full Thanksgiving dinner. It benefits Youth Bridge, a local non-profit agency that serves over 3,000 Northwest Arkansas youths and their families every year focusing on abuse, neglect, addiction, homelessness, mental health issues and behavioral problems. It’s a really great organization.
Registration for teams is open through Oct. 18. Entry costs $100 for amateur cooks and $150 for pros.
Tickets for the event are available for $8 a person now through the Bacon Bowl website, at the mall and at Macadoodles in Springdale. In addition to the cooking, there will be events for kids and the Dallas Cowboys Grill Team featuring Grill Master Randy Lann will be on hand to offer grilling demonstrations. There’s also an egg toss from Great Day Farms (another excellent Arkansas company) and the celebrity judge will be Adam Poch, aka the Heavy Metal Teddy Bear, from “Big Brother” season 13.
This event sounds like lots of fun, so locals, I hope you’ll think about attending or getting a team together.
What’s your favorite thing to do with bacon?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club, but I was not compensated for this post. Just spreading the bacon love, y’all.