A weekend to indulge in bacon, beer and bourbon to your heart's content? It's hard to imagine a better way to spend a couple of days.
That's the idea behind the second Bacon & Barrels Saarloos festival, which unfolds in Santa Barbara's wine country July 19. The weekend-long event showcases bacon, beer and bourbon from restaurants around California, as well as from the host, Saarloos and Sons farm and vineyard.
The festival kicks off the night before with a special VIP dinner by Jake O. Francis (Pig Farmer, Chef) and Jeff Olsson (Industrial Eats) on July 18 at the Saarloos and Sons Field. The four-course dinner includes prosciutto, country ham, coppa, country paté and cracklins to start, followed by crispy pig head and fried trotters, pork-stuffed pork shanks, roasted pork loin, andouille sausage links with pretzel bread, Hemingway popsicles and strawberry shortcake ice cream sandwiches.
On July 19 chefs will provide tastes of dishes highlighting bacon, and festival-goers will be able to sip craft beer samples, bourbon and wine. Cooking and mixology demos will take place throughout the day on a stage area. Acting as the event headliner, Vic Casanova of Los Angeles' Gusto and the soon-to-open Pistola, will also have a cooking demo.
General admission tickets are $60 in advance online or $70 at the door and include festival admission, a souvenir glass and access to all food and beverage tastings. Early-bird general admission pre-sale tickets are $80, or $90 at the door, and include the general admission access as well as early entry to the festival. VIP access is $325 per person and includes an invitation to the VIP bacon dinner on the 18th, early entry to the festival, access to a VIP lounge with tastings from the participating chefs and mixologists, a souvenir glass and entry to the Sunday brunch.
And if you're planning on just having bacon, hold the libations, you can get a pre-sale ticket for $30, or $40 at the door, and act as the designated driver.
2971 Grand Ave, Los Olivos, (805) 688-1200, www.baconandbarrels.com
Let's dream about bacon, together. Follow me @Jenn_Harris_