If you haven’t heard about the popular recipe book “I LOVE BACON!” then I can only assume you have either been very busy or simply taking a break from the world, off under the “proverbial” rock somewhere.
This Recipe Book features a bunch of truly delicious bacon featured dishes, covering everything from brunch, soup, salads and side dishes to numerous meat, pasta and even fish entrées as well as cocktails and yes, of course there are lots of bacon dessert dishes to dive into.
“I LOVE BACON!” is written by Jayne Rockmill and published by the good folks over at Andrews McMeel Publishing. All in all, there are more than 50 different recipes coming to you from the likes of such popular and prominent chefs as Cat Cora, John Besh, Ming Tsai, Jasper White, Pichet Ong and Julian Medina
It’s an impressive collection of culinary concoctions, with recipes for everything from “Spaghetti Carbonara” and “Bacon Bread Pudding,” to more eclectic fares such as “Bakon Mary Cocktail” and “Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes”. More importantly, a portion of all proceeds go directly to charity, specifically, the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength.
Here’s just a short sampling of some of our fascinating conversation shared with “I LOVE BACON!” author, Jayne Rockmill:
BT: Have you been a Bacon Freak your entire life, or is this a taste that simply grew on you over time?
JR: Not in my early years, only once I started cooking, I began to value the mouth-watering aroma and satisfying taste that bacon delivers. I love to add bacon to recipes for dinner parties, as it always makes the dish sing.
BT: What’s your perspective on the now raging, popular trend of “Baco-Mania?”
JR: I found it to be a natural progression from the artisanal cheese and charcuterie craze the past 10 years to something both chefs and consumers can easily afford and find locally. Bacon is the ultimate comfort food. I think it’s here to stay although most probably will ebb and flow in the culinary world as other items take a star position from time to time.
BT: So what was the original impetus leading to the creation of this book?
JR: I wanted to combine my professional career as a literary agent with my passion for specialty food and wine and create a way to give back to the community. For several years I have been producing and volunteering on assorted food and wine events for charities and then realized a book would reach a wider net of people.
BT: How did you go about contacting all of the chefs that you gathered to participate in such a huge but worthy undertaking?
JR: I simply asked a few chefs I have worked with over the years if they would be keen to donate a recipe. Once I received ½ dozen positive response, I began calling chefs across the country. To my delight I had wonderful conversations on the subject and learned about a vast array of recipes that incorporate bacon in new and exciting ways.
BT: Tell us about the charities that will be helped by the proceeds coming from the sale of this remarkable book.
JR: Share Our Strength® is the leading national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. By weaving together a net of community groups, activists and food programs, Share Our Strength catches children at risk of hunger and ensures they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play.
Working closely with the culinary industry, Share Our Strength creates a vast number of engaging and pioneering programs involving national grassroots effort, a touring dinner series, a cooking-based nutrition education program and a program involving thousands of restaurants nationwide. To learn more about our goal of ending childhood hunger in America by 2015, please visit Strength.org.
BT: I’m impressed by the wide variety of recipes, ranging from very simple and quick menu items to some extremely exquisite and elegant entrees. Was this by design or the natural flow of what the chef’s submitted to you?
JR: At first I simply asked for a bacon recipe, and was thrilled with the diverse collection of recipes I began receiving, but quickly realized I had to build categories and fill in blanks. I knew I wanted a combination of classics as well as exotic recipes.
Some chefs had so many options, that they asked me to choose which worked best for the book. In a few instances I actually altered some recipes in collaboration with chefs to build categories and more diversity.
BT: Unlike most bacon recipes, based on eggs, soups and vegetables, your book includes lots of menu items involving other meats, as well as fish. Which recipes took even YOU by surprise?
JR: My first surprise was Wayne Nish’s Bacon Chourcroute, then Michael Symon’s Pastry Chef; Cory Barrett’s Maple Bacon Ice Cream, and Pichet Ong’s Chocolate Bacon Cup Cakes!
BT: There are a lot of Pasta Recipes featuring bacon. We’re you surprised by the all the pasta dishes contributed by the chefs and do you think it’s a sign of another trend in the “foodie galaxy?”
JR: Yes, that is interesting. I received many recipes for Bacon with Pasta; perhaps it will be my follow up book, combing 2 very comforting foods ~ perfect.
BT: Everyone is aware of the current, seductive relationship between sweets and bacon, so there’s no surprise that there’s a lot of delightfully delicious, decadently delectable dessert dishes delivered by your cavalcade of chefs.
JR: Yes, chefs are really pushing the envelope when it comes to dessert. Salt combined with chocolate really opened the door on this, as chocolate covered chips, pretzels, etc. converted the masses including me. As I mentioned the Bacon Ice Cream and Bacon Cup Cakes surprised me, and then more dessert recipes kept coming. It was really surprising and wonderful to include a dessert chapter! They may sound weird to some, but they taste awesome. It’s a thrill to watch people crinkle their nose at the idea and then watch their eyes light up when they sample them!
BT: What the most valuable thing that you learned from putting all of these wonderful bacon featured recipes together?
JR: The generosity of chefs.
BT: Now that the book is officially out and reaching so many people in the “Baconista” Brother-Sisterhood, what’s next on the horizon for Jayne Rockmill?
JR: In the short term, promoting the book with chefs across the country by way of book signings and bacon dinners to sell lots of books and help abolish hunger in America.
If all goes well, a follow up cook book!
Photo Credit: Andrew McMeel Publishing