Food Festivals

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna