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Guest Post, Honestly Delicious: Baconpalooza Recap

Today we’re joined by Katy from Honestly Delicious, a friend of ours we recently met during a trip to Virginia Beach. We were so enamored with her and her husband that we insisted that they ought to join us at the Baconpalooza competition at Polyface Farm a few weeks back. Now that we’ve all recovered from that tremendous event, we thought it would be fun to share her experience at the event.

For our part, Stacy and Aimee went to represent Paleo Parents and served the Bacon Jam from Beyond Bacon which I had made that past week. You can see all the images we have gathered from the event in this Facebook album. How did our dish turn out? You be the judge!

Bacon-Jam-Baconpalooza

Man, I’m so thankful for good photographers that make my food look so tasty! Hope this recap makes you so excited that we’ll see you next year!

This past summer, I got to meet the Paleo Parents when they came to Virginia Beach to do a book signing of their amazing book, Beyond Bacon, at the Virginia Beach Whole Foods Market. They had sent me a copy of their book earlier in the summer for my first ever book review on my blog. The next day, Matt and Stacy invited my husband and I to join them for lunch with their adorable boys, and they told us all about an upcoming event hosted by the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund called the Save Your Bacon Weekend in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The weekend would start on Saturday morning with a tour of the beautiful Polyface Farms, and then Satruday night the fun would continue with a Bacon Cook Off in which pastured pork farmers teamed up with Paleo Chefs to fight for first place in an appetizer contest for 250 guests. Sunday would be an all-day conference called P3: Polyface, Pork and Paleo, in which there would be lectures by both Robb Wolf and Joel Salatin, followed by a Paleo cooking demonstration by Jenny McGruther of NourishedKitchen.com .  I was already extremely interested in the event, and Stacy told me that they were still looking for Paleo Chef contestants for the Baconpalooza Cook-Off. Sign me up!

Save Your Bacon MemeBaconpalooza Meme

Over the course of the next month, a total of eight awesome Paleo Chef teams were entered to compete including:
Molly M. Peterson, PhotographerStacy Toth and Aimee Buxton from Paleo ParentsFTCLDF_BaconPalooza2013_125_zps38ab4cf2Russ from The Domestic Man
Molly M. Peterson, PhotographerAnde Glass from Paleo in July
Molly M. Peterson, Photographer
Brent Schrader and Heather Gerum from Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers
Molly M. Peterson, PhotographerJulie and Charles Mayfield from Paleo Comfort Foods
Molly M. Peterson, PhotographerAmber Lewis from modPALEO
Diana-and-Kristen-BaconpaloozaKristin Canty and Diana Rodgers from Sustainable Dish
Molly M. Peterson, PhotographerAnd yours truly.
Boy! What did I get myself into?
My good friend, and classmate from culinary school, Pete Servold of Pete’s Paleo, generously consented to be my bacon sponsor for the event, and he soon sent me FIVE GLORIOUS POUNDS of Pete’s Paleo Bacon made from Cook’s Pig Ranch beautiful pastured pork.
Five Pound Bacon Delivery
I got busy planning my dish because I knew that the competition would be tough! I decided to stick to my roots and do something that personified my Southern heritage and featured late summer foods, while also respecting the glorious, pastured pig: a Pastured Pork Taco, studded with lardons of Pete’s Paleo Bacon, sauced in my Paleo Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, topped with Peach-Jalapeno Salsa and Pickled Red Onions, in a raw Jicama Shell with Organic Mixed Baby Greens. Say that five times fast! Check out the recipes on my blog.
Molly M. Peterson, Photographer
I had so much fun at the event, even though I didn’t win. Russ, from The Domestic Man won with his Bourbon Braised Bacon. His dish was amazing! I really enjoyed all the other bacon dishes from the other contestants, and I also enjoyed meeting everyone. Dream come true! Thank you Stacy and Matt for bringing this wonderful opportunity my way!
Katy Plating
The next day, Ian and I attended the P3:Polyface, Paleo, and Pork conference, and we especially enjoyed the talks by Robb Wolf. We had never heard him speak before, and we truly loved his ‘tough love’ ‘no holds barred’ approach. The Paleo Solution was the first Paleo book I read, and the one that truly changed my way of thinking and our lives forever. Essentially, without his book, I would never have started my blog. Ian and I both agreed that it will not be the last time we hear him speak!
Molly M. Peterson, Photographer
It was awesome to be able to hear Joel Salatin speak as well, as he is obviously so passionate about sustainable farming. The main thing that my husband and I took to heart was when Joel encouraged real food eaters not only to buy locally raised meats and produce, but to also start to contribute by farming and raising our own. Though we aren’t there yet, it is in our 5-10 year plan to be able to start a homestead of our own with chickens, goats, sheep, and of course – PIGS!
Our take-away from the whole weekend was how refreshing it was to be in the company of other like-minded people. Sometimes we feel alone in our quest for health via real food amongst a sea of SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters who look at me like I’m crazy for cooking with lard. It was also so cool to connect with so many people that I have followed through social networking, and who have also apparently been following me! I was so touched by everyone who came up and took the time to introduce themselves and say, “I love your Instagram!” Hearing the talks from Robb Wolf, Joel Salatin, and all the other speakers just helped us be more confident in our beliefs and reaffirmed our commitment to staying away from the junk food we used to love. It was also nice to be served Paleo foods for lunch and snack breaks. I loved the Yawp! bars, the Tendergrass Farms Sausage, and the paleo coffee bar complete with coconut milk, local grass-fed cream, Pure Indian Foods Ghee, and raw honey.
Molly M. Peterson, Photographer
Thank you so much to Molly Peterson, who took most of the beautiful photos in this post. (If it’s pretty, she took it, if it looks like it was hastily shot on an iPhone, I took it!) She graciously donated her time and services, as well as these photos. I feel certain that I will travel to her farm to buy pork as well as to hopefully have family photos taken someday. It was so awesome meeting you Molly! You are such a kind and lovely person!
Thank you also to Cathy Raymond, who coordinated this event for FTCLDF. I appreciate all the hard work that you, and all the other volunteers put into planning this event. A great time was had by all!

Katy and Stacy MeetKaty Galvin is the blogger behind Honestly Delicious. Katy has worked in the restaurant industry for ten years and holds a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Katy and her husband, Ian, adopted a Paleo Lifestyle in late 2011 after losing a combined 130 pounds as a way to maintain their weight-loss and also as a natural way to heal from a wide range of health issues including chronic headaches, migraines, depression, heartburn, and adult acne. Katy has also been able to manage the symptoms of PCOS (polycistic ovarian syndrome) with diet alone, and no medication. In the future, they hope to be able to have a brood of Paleo babies of their own, without the need for invasive fertility treatments. Follow Katy on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Katy and Ian currently reside in Virginia Beach.

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