The 2015 Delray Beach Bacon and Bourbon Fest: "Poor Planning and Execution" (Photos)

The inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest got off to a rocky start this past weekend.
The inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest got off to a rocky start this past weekend.
Photo by Papphoto.com

Who doesn't love bacon and bourbon? Let's face it: In America, not many people can say "no" to this indulgent pairing.

But according to multiple Facebook reviews on the inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest's own public event page, the inaugural event was a bit of a — well, ham.

Overwhelmingly, those who who attended the Bacon & Bourbon Fest this past weekend had markedly poor reviews. Some said the entire festival was a mix of "poor planning and execution," citing long lines, limited supplies, poor organization, and pricey food and drink as major gripe factors. Overall, out of the 90 online reviews, the event garnered just 1.6 out of 5 stars.

Most Bacon & Bourbon Fest attendees gave a "1" rating to the first-year event.
Most Bacon & Bourbon Fest attendees gave a "1" rating to the first-year event.

Still, not everyone was disappointed. Those who didn't mind all the first-year-festival blunders loved the plethora of pork and bourbon, which were the main focus over the course of the two-day event. Several of South Florida's most popular establishments were also in attendance, creating bacon-based takes on a number of popular dishes.

Here, Delray Beach-based photographer Gyorgy Papp, owner of Papphoto, captured a day's worth of stills from the first Bacon & Bourbon Fest in Delray Beach on Saturday, March 28.

1792 Ridgemont Reserve is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey, part of a line of small-batch bourbons aimed at the high-end liquor market.
1792 Ridgemont Reserve is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey, part of a line of small-batch bourbons aimed at the high-end liquor market.
Photo by Papphoto.com

More than 20 bourbons were available for tastings at the inaugural Bacon & Bourbon Fest, including 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, a Kentucky bourbon whiskey produced by the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Drinks were priced $8 to $20 each and included everything from Buffalo Trace bourbon served neat (or on the rocks) to Sazerac Rye bourbon. Several specialty cocktails were also available, with options like the classic Old Fashion, Manhattan, and a Maple Bourbon Smash with orange and lime juice, maple syrup, bitters, and club soda.

The bacon-infused dishes covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
The bacon-infused dishes covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Photo by Papphoto.com

A number of tasty dishes were available for purchase during the Bacon & Bourbon Fest, everything from deep-fried bacon ice cream, bacon mac ’n' cheese, and bacon fried rice to bacon and mushroom flatbread, bacon-topped sticky buns, and a bacon-cheddar bratwurst sandwich. Participating restaurants included Boston's on the Beach, 50 Ocean, Florida Pizza Co., and Carefree Catering.

The Delray Bacon & Bourbon Fest included several exclusive tasting events with pairing menus prepared for a select number of guests.
The Delray Bacon & Bourbon Fest included several exclusive tasting events with pairing menus prepared for a select number of guests.
Photo by Papphoto.com

As with similar food events, the Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest included several exclusive pairing dinners and private tasting events. That included several bourbon and bacon pairings on Saturday and Sunday featuring Boca Raton's Kapow! Noodle Bar and Delray Beach's Dada and 50 Ocean, for $100 per person. Other seminars included a mixology class and tasting event highlighting specialty cocktails for $100 per person and a rare Pappy Van Winkle tasting for $200 per person.

Festivalgoers waiting in line for food and drink during the inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest.
Festivalgoers waiting in line for food and drink during the inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest.
Photo by Papphoto.com

Festival attendees had the choice of purchasing a $25 general admission ticket, which included a $10 food and drink voucher. Many chose to cash in at the bacon bar, where strips of fried pig were doled out, each covered with sweet and savory toppings. 

What was your experience? Tell us in the comments section.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square

51 N. Swinton Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33444

561-243-7922

www.oldschool.org


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