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What to expect at Zingerman's Camp Bacon 2018

The fundraiser centered around all things pork is in its ninth year

Tastings at Camp Bacon (Photo: Zingerman's)

ANN ARBORCamp Bacon is exactly how it sounds, minus the cabins and tetherball sets.

Founder of Zingerman's Deli, Ari Weinzweig, first mentioned the idea in his book Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon more than 10 years ago.

"Joking around in the book, I said, 'What if there was a camp you could go and everything was about bacon?'" said Weinzweig.

Several months later, during a work meeting, one of his colleagues urged him to make the camp a reality.

"This will be our ninth annual (event)," he said. "We do it as a fundraiser for Southern Foodways Alliance, which is down in Oxford, Mississippi. It’s a great nonprofit which we’ve learned a ton from. They do really great work to connect people from all backgrounds. We also raise money for 4-H in Washtenaw County to help local agriculture."

Ari Weinzweig (Credit: Jennie Warren Photography)

So what can campgoers expect?

"Each year, it gets a little better and a little bigger," he said. "We have a whole range of events going on. The main event, which is the centerpiece of the whole thing is Saturday, June 2, and it’s basically a ZingTrain seminar, but around pork."

Following a series of speakers, Weizweig explained, "We taste bacon all day, with a pork-centric breakfast and lunch."

Schedule of events:

Wednesday, May 30

Camp Bacon Film Festival 
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Zingerman's Greyline
Price: $35 per person

"The Camp Bacon Film Festival celebrates southern food traditions and culture through film. A casual evening of bacon-studded snacks accompanied by a discussion of food traditions. We’ll supply the non-alcoholic beverages; beer, wine, and cocktails will be available for sale. $10 of the ticket price will be donated to Southern Foodways.

"Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m. Program begins at 6:30."

Reserve tickets here.

The 9th Annual Bacon Ball with Rick Bayless
7 to 9 p.m.
Zingerman's Roadhouse
Price: $95 per person
*This event is sold out, to sign up for the waitlist, click here.

"The owner of nine restaurants, (Rick Bayless) is also a winner of the Julia Child Foundation Award, a prestigious honor given to 'an individual who has made a profound and significant impact on the way America cooks, eats and drinks.' The 9th annual Bacon Ball will be a night to remember, as Rick Bayless and Roadhouse head chef, Bob Bennett, prepare an unforgettable feast!"

Thursday, May 31

Bakin' with Bacon at BAKE!
1 to 5 p.m.
Zingerman's Bakehouse
Price: $125 per person

"We’ll be using the power of bacon to flavor three amazing baked goods. You’ll make a similar version of our wildly popular peppered bacon farm bread, bacon cheddar scones found in the book, and sweet and salty bacon pecan sandy cookies. We’ll take you to hog heaven with a demonstration of our maple glazed bacon apple doughnuts. Try and contain yourself.

"You’ll leave BAKE! with our recipes, the knowledge to recreate them at home, two loaves of bread, a dozen scones, three dozen cookies and great coupons."

Reserve tickets here.

(Photo: Zingerman's)

Just for Kids: Explore the World of Bacon
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Sold out)
7 to 8 p.m.
Zingerman's Deli Next Door (upstairs)
Price: $15 per person

"You will learn to taste bacon like an expert as we work our way through the World of Bacon. We’ll tell you about some of our favorite bacon makers, learn about different types of bacon, and talk about some of our favorite ways to eat bacon. Oh, yeah, and we’ll eat some bacon.

"We think kids ages 4-14 would most enjoy this tasting. Parents are welcome to attend at no charge and observe on the sidelines. All participants will receive a 20% off coupon to use after the tasting to eat and/or shop at the Deli."

Reserve tickets for the 7 p.m. seating here.

A Menu with Porcine Predilections
5 to 10 p.m.
Miss Kim
Price: $75 per person

"Ji Hye Kim, managing partner and head chef at Miss Kim has designed a dinner menu with deliciously porcine predilections featuring Pork Belly Bossam, Pork Skin Tteokbokki, Koryo Carrot Salad, Braised Pork Shoulder with Kimchi & Benton’s Bacon braised Collard greens, and Fried Apple dumpling with candied Nueske’s bacon bits. The price includes a bottle of soju or a flight of five house infused soju shots."

Reserve tickets here.

Friday, June 1

Bakin’ with Bacon at BAKE!
8 a.m. to noon
Zingerman's Bakehouse
Price: $125 per person

Reserve tickets here.

Grilled & Smoked Cheeses
6 to 8 p.m.
Zingerman's Creamery
Price: $45 per person
*This tasting is for cheese lovers 21+

"Join our cheesemongers for a delicious evening of all things grilled and smoked! We’ll talk about the role of grilling and smoking in making and enjoying some of our favorite cheeses. Whilst you savor these smokey delights, we’ll include a sampling of our perfectly-pairable beers, wines, and ciders from our shelves. Bread and additional accompaniments from our Cream Top Shop will be provided."

Reserve tickets here.

Saturday, June 2

(Photo: Zingerman's)

The Main Event
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Zingerman's Cornman Farms
Price: $195 per person

"Fascinating speakers. Breakfast and lunch. So. Much. Bacon! An all-day event filled with meaty speakers, lots of learning, a whole lot of laughing and, of course, all the bacon you can eat! Bacon lovers from around the globe trek to the Camp Bacon Main Event to meet and eat and share their love for really good cured pork in a day filled with presentations by bacon producers, food experts, and a few fun surprise guests."

For the full list of speakers, click here.

Reserve tickets here.

Bakin’ with Bacon at BAKE!
1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Zingerman's Bakehouse
Price: $125 per person

Reserve tickets here.

Bakin’ with Bacon at BAKE!
1:45 to 5:45 p.m.
Zingerman's Bakehouse
Price: $125 per person

Reserve tickets here.

Sunday, June 3

Biscuit Love Breakfast
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Zingerman's Greyline
Price: $50 per person
*Reservations recommended, walk-ins welcome

"Every day in Nashville, Tennessee, people stand in line for hours to eat at Karl Worley’s Biscuit Love. Now, for one morning only, the award-winning chef will serve up his famous (like, rock star famous) biscuits right here in Ann Arbor as part of Camp Bacon! He’ll be throwing down a breathtaking buffet of hometown favorites, like tender, buttery biscuits stuffed with Nashville hot chicken, biscuits and gravy that you’ll never forget, candied Chronic Bacon, and to really hit that sweet spot, biscuits with blueberry compote and lemon curd mascarpone.

"Ten dollars of the ticket price will be donated to Southern Foodways and $10 to our local 4-H chapter."

Reserve tickets here.

Camp Bacon Street Fair
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday Artisan Market in Kerrytown

"Come on down to the market -- just a block down from the Deli and Miss Kim -- to celebrate great pork with a three-hour street fair with an array of vendors selling, sampling and showcasing all things bacon. It’s a great way to have lunch, sample new bacon fares, or just have some fun with bacon-based games for kids of all ages."

RSVP here.

Related reading:
A chat with Zingerman's Ari Weinzweig

The Zingerman's Deli deals you should know about

A chat with Frank Carollo and Amy Emberling of Zingerman's Bakehouse

Zingerman's joins Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley to renovate Ann Arbor home

A chat with owner, head chef of Ann Arbor's Miss Kim Korean eatery

About the Author:

Meredith Bruckner

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.