Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Minneapolis Bacon Takedown: May 11th @ 2pm

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 Review by Brian

We have 2 Free Tickets! Please Contact Us!

Hormel® Black Label® has been in a state of bacon mania for over 100 years, and this year, it’s bringing back the Bacon Takedown Series to Minneapolis to inspire local chefs to compete for bacon glory and display their love for the delectable dish. Recognizing that consumers are using bacon in more and different ways than ever before, Hormel® Black Label® will takes its innovative flavor profiles and smoke combinations and arm amateur chef competitors with 15 pounds of its bacon. Competitors will go belly to belly to show-off their cooking talents and demonstrate what Black Label knows best: they’re serious about bacon.

Tasters will Experience

  • Fun in the photobooth with bacon moustaches, pig snouts and the opportunity to turn into a life-sized bacon strip, all made sharable on Facebook!
  • Up to 20 delicious and diverse Hormel® Black Label® inspired bacon dishes ranging from classic favorites to wonderfully bizarre.
  • Prizes for contestants and randomly selected audience members include cooking-related items and of course, Black Label bacon.
  • The event is all-ages and family friendly.

Matt Timms, producer and food competition extraordinaire, will lead the bacon charge for the fourth annual Bacon Takedown series. This is the Takedown’s first trip back to Minneapolis since the inaugural 2010 Series. Top rated bacon dishes from Minnesotans in the last go-round included:

  • Brown Butter Cereal Bars with Candied Bacon
  • Bacon S’Mores with Cherry Wrapped Bacon
  • Curry Sweet Potato Bacon Fritters

Bacon Takedown Logo-MSP-PNG-transparent


Minneapolis Bacon Takedown > May 11th

Friday, May 3, 2013 Review by Brian

Minneapolis Bacon Take Down 2013

It’s back! The Minneapolis Bacon Take Down comes to to The Fine Line Music Cafe on May 11 @ 2pm. Try 20 local bacon recipes and VOTE at The Minneapolis Bacon Take Down!

 Tickets can be purchase online here:

If you’re interesting in competing, email: for more information. You’ll be provided with 15lbs of sponsor Hormel Black Label Bacon as a base for your bacon recipe  You could win a year’s supply of bacon! Cookware from Analon, Wusthof and Microplane! And more!!!!

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Kristen Olson - Winner of the 2010 - Twin Cities Bacon Takedown

Kristen Olson – Winner of the 2010 – Twin Cities Bacon Takedown

Minneapolis Guest & Matt Timms- July2010 - Hormel Foods

Minneapolis Guest & Matt Timms- July2010 – Hormel Foods

More information about the Take Down:

The Takedown blasted into existence in the winter of 2003 – in a little hovel somewhere in Brooklyn NYC. Everyone loves us, so the Takedown has quickly grown into an adult-sized event. The press is insane, and in it’s wake, other cooking events across the country were more recently spawned, but the Takedown will always be the first and awesomest! Self-taught cooks bring in their brilliant creations and compete for money, prizes, and self respect. The TD is NATIONWIDE now- and happening in a city near you! Austin, Houston, Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville, Boston, St. Paul, Seattle, San Francisco… and MORE!!! But that’s not all! Takedowns are nutzos, and not necessarily chili: Bacon, Fondue, Salsa, Lamb, Curry and even Cookie Takedowns!!!! Oo! And we have several really bad ideas coming up- also not chili related. Actor/filmmaker Matt Timms produces the events and MCs the night. God he’s beautiful.

The Bacon Takedown Series sponsored by Hormel® Black Label® bacon is kicking off its third annual tour around the country to find the most delicious and unconventional bacon recipes.

Minneapolis Guest & Matt Timms- July2010 - Hormel Foods

Minneapolis Guest & Matt Timms- July2010 - Hormel Foods

Hosted by Matt Timms (, the event is hitting six cities this year:

  • Austin, TX—March 11th
  • Denver, CO—April 22nd
  • Boston, MA—June 24th
  • San Francisco, CA—July 15th
  • Chicago, IL—September 16th
  • Brooklyn, NY –October 14th

Each event features 20 local amateur chefs who accept the challenge of cooking recipes with bacon for 200-300 people who then taste and vote on their favorite. Die-hard bacon-clad fans including those dressed as walking strips of bacon, donning bacon beards, and others with curly-q tails pined to their behinds can be seen at the events, and teams of participants have also been known to create theme tables and dress up for the part—past tables have had Girl Scouts and Kentucky Derby themes, to name a few.

The participating cooks receive 15 pounds of Hormel® Black Label® bacon to create their bacon dish —in the past entries have included new takes on classic favorites and wonderfully bizarre concoctions, including:

  • An entire meal out of Bacon including Bacon Wonton, Watermelon Salad & Coconut Soup w/ Praline Bacon
  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly on a Stick
  • Nacho Bacon
  • Pineapple Bacon Bombs & Bunches of Bacon Bar
  • Bacon Maple Caramel
  • Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese Bites Wrapped in Bacon

Then it’s up to the judges and the crowd to pick their favorites! The winner receives a one-year supply of Hormel® Black Label® bacon and other cooking related-items. A random audience member and taster at each event will also be selected to receive a one-year supply of Hormel® Black Label® bacon.

Many of the Bacon Takedown events sell out in advance with bacon fans eager to taste creations from their hometown cooks. Tickets to the events in each city are very low-priced (between $10- $15) so make sure to get tickets early! Anyone can sign-up to be a contestant, so watch out for the “call for contestants” on to enter as a cheftestant!

Fans should visit to stay up to date on events and get in on the bacon goodness. The page will feature the best recipes and photos from each of the events and original bacon films—think bacon as the subject of dramas, comedies and film noire! A polling application is also available for fans to share all of the ways that they enjoy bacon.


Portland Bacon Takedown Serving  May 2011 - Hormel Foods

Portland Bacon Takedown Serving May 2011 - Hormel Foods

SF Bacon Takedown Line - July 2011 - Hormel Foods

SF Bacon Takedown Line - July 2011 - Hormel Foods

Bacon S’mores from Bacon Takedown 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 Review by Brian
Bacon S’mores from Bacon Takedown 2011

Bacon S’mores from Bacon Takedown 2011

Summary: Winner of the 2011 Bacon Takedown Best Sweet at SXSW in Austin, TX. These candies start with a layer of graham cracker caramel, topped with bacon marshmallows, dipped in dark chocolate, and finished with a sprinkling of bacon powder.


International Bacon Day at The Swinery

Friday, April 1, 2011 Review by BetterThanAndrew

Kevin on the Swinery Pig

So, as Brian noted in the previous post, Saturday was International Bacon Day. West Seattle’s self-proclaimed “Temple of Porcine Love”, The Swinery, an ethical butcher shop specializing in locally raised pork-centric delights hosted a small celebration. They fired up the grill out back, opened their doors and laid out a big plate of cookies. I donned my bacon socks, grabbed a stack of Baconscotch stickers, packed up Kevin and The Vegetarian and set out to get a piece of the action.

There was already a line at around 10:45 A.M. The Swinery is not a very big place and Seattle has a large contingency of proud bacon fanatics. As I stood in line to pay up for a BaconDog and get my free cookie, KOMO 4, the local ABC affiliate was interviewing people and I was amongst the fortunate masses to put in my two cents about my love for bacon. Unfortunately, my plugs for BaconScotch hit the cutting room floor. Follow the link to catch the interview.

BetterThanAndrew interview
KOMO 4 News, Featuring BetterThanAndrew

For the record, I said “There’s a quote that says ‘bacon is meat candy’.” They truncated the front end. I am certainly not trying to take credit for Baconfreak‘s tagline.

Anyhow, that said, back to the topic at hand – bacony delights!

The Bacondog. Contrary to popular expectations, the Bacondog is not just a hot dog wrapped in bacon. Oh no! They claim it is made from 60% beef and 40% bacon, “whipped and piped” into a single casing. My sensitive tastebuds beg to differ, though. I distinctly detected the flavor of magic rainbows and angel tears in mine. But I digress. The Swinery does two sizes of Bacondogs. I opted for the large, of course. It was about the size of your average butcher’s brautwurst, grilled to perfection and served not on a bot dog bun or hoagie, but on a split, buttered, toasted slab of baguette. I gave mine a thin coating of stone ground dijon mustard and went to town. It was divine! The flavor was fantastic and well balanced. The bacon blended very well with the beef and seasonings. Not too salty, not too much flavor of one meat or the other. It was juicy, the casing was thin and unobtrusive but with nice snap. I MAULED that thing like a starving dingo on a fat unattended baby. I will definitely be back for more soon.

Blissful closure came in the form of a complimentary bacon chocolate chip cookie. I’m not sure if the Swinery bakes those themselves or have someone in the neighborhood make them. If they are an in-house product then you can add baking to the long list of things that they do well. It was a good soft cookie with quality semi-sweet chocolate IMO. The bacon content was subtle but noticeable. After the Bacondog, my palette was probably a bit tainted and it downplayed the bacon content of the cookie. Going on that assumption, the cookie was awesome. If that was not the case, as usual, I would have bumped up the bacon content, but only by a hair. They did a fantastic job.

All in all it was a very satisfactory International Bacon Day. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some other foods on the Swinery’s menu, like some Danger Fries or one of their bleu cheese bacon burgers, and a beer to wash it all down (We can’t drink scotch all the time) but I was low on cash monies and the Swinery doesn’t do beer anyway. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

I understand that Andrew paid a visit later in the day so he will undoubtedly have a follow-up of his own.