Events — 17 October 2011
Brooklyn Bacon Takedown at The Bell House

Blog: Brooklyn Bacon Takedown

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Whoever said that Apple Pie is the symbol for America, has most certainly not been to the Brooklyn Bacon Takedown. Culinary ringmaster Matt Timms is at it again, bringing everyone’s favorite meat candy to the Bell House in Brooklyn. And if that wasn’t cool enough, this would mark the third anniversary of this wildly popular takedown event. Needless to say it was a total sell out.  

Bacon is a highly versatile food. There’s just something special about this cured pork treat that allows one to be inventive. And at this Sunday’s ‘Bacon Takedown,” each home cook was nothing short of a culinary mad scientist. It was refreshing to see the risks that many of tinkered with- sweet and savory combinations yielded decedent desserts that hit home with the packed crowd.

Speaking of sweet, there were plenty of dessert based bacon dishes to go around. Yet, the first one we sunk our teeth into was quite common in appearance until we reached the bacon center: it was a Bacon S’more. This favorite campfire treat, was given a large injection of salt as each jumbo marshmallow was brilliantly wrapped in a huge piece of Hormel bacon. And after the first bite you could see the surprise on everyone’s face as well as my own. Other great bacon dessert dishes included the cinnamon Rolls made by the guys from Brooklynauts,and a salty fudge truffle treat with a crunchy bacon center.

The savory style bacon takedown creations dominated my sampling plate. There’s just something amazing about juicy finger foods. One of the major stand out dishes also happened to be the first prize for the judges choice. It was a Roasted Pork Belly with Pumpkin and Duck Fat Crouton created by Jay & Anne Marie Gorman. The bacon, pork belly, and duck fat crouton combination was a stunning overlord of some of my favorite flavors. Some of the expert judges included deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn, and Edible Manhattan, Rachel Wharton as well as omnipresent Hamburger guru, George Motz. It’s safe to say we trusted their decision.

But after the judges had their say, it was time for the people to speak their minds. Throughout the event, crowd members sampled each treat, knowing they had to vote for who they thought was above and beyond the best. At past takedowns the “People’s Choice” winner dazzled the crowd with their style and substance. Sunday’s bacon takedown was no different. Number seventeen, Jenn de la Vega took first prize for her delicious bite-size bacon nacho-wonton hybrid. It was an attractive, and savory pork treat, that many including myself thought was hands down the best in show.

The takedown events prove to be one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in New York City. Each of these local home cooks never cease to impress me. They are daring, creative, and most importantly fun with each challenge. It also doesn’t hurt that bacon is the greatest food, ever.

- Jay Rubin

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