By Suzanne Corbett

“Bacon, bacon, bacon,” was the cry heard from the crowd at Kiener Plaza who gathered for St. Louis’ first Baconfest and the unveiling and sampling of the event’s main attraction, the record breaking Hog Log.

“This was fun and I can’t wait to do it another next year,” said River City and Lumiere Place Casino Executive Chef John Johnson, creator of the Hog Log, best described as a 500-pound bacon-wrapped, Italian style meatloaf with a bacon center, which was sauced and smoked in a specialty made smoker/barbecue pit made by Vatterott Collage students. “Hats off to the students at Vatterott who made the smoker. Without their help we wouldn’t be able to do this. And thanks to my team and the volunteers who helped make it and hand carry the Hog Log down Memorial Street to Kiener Plaza to the smoker.”

During the day thousands of the bacon faithful attended the event with hundreds who gladly waited in line for a chance to sample the gargantuan sweet swine treat; gladly paying two bucks a slice for the delicacy that benefited the USO.

As the Hog Log smoked visitors were able to kick back and enjoy music and the live remote form K-SHE Radio and sample the efforts of local baconistas culinary creations. Among the baconistas (aka vendors) were eight restaurateurs who decided to go whole hog and vie for top honors at Baconfest’s first cooking contest. Counted among the entries were Bacon and Cheese Popcorn to Bacon and Jalapeño Stuffed-Shrimp (the third-prize winner) to the classic Chocolate Covered Bacon on a Stick. While all worthy of praise, first place honors went to Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream for its Caramelized Bacon Chocolate Ice Cream Lolly Pop. An entry in my opinion proved, bacon isn’t just for breakfast or the BTL anymore.