It All Comes Back to Bacon: Honey's Rocks the DURoC at Smithfield Chef's Table

The Local Tourist receives a lot of invitations to events, but even though I’m the publisher I don’t personally get to attend many. Since moving to the suburbs it’s more difficult for me to get to them, and besides, we’ve got the TLTeam who’re ready, willing, and eager to cover dinners and shows and the like. However, sometimes we get an invitation and I grab it. “It’s mine – mine all mine,” I say, and the team shrugs their collective shoulders and grumbles about what a selfish boss I am.

(Not really. OK, maybe sometimes. Wait – do you guys really think that?)

Anyway, an invitation came in for an evening hosted by Smithfield DURoC Pork. That one was mine. Totally mine.

Why? Two reasons:

1) I love pork. Right now in my refrigerator I’ve got a pound of bacon (duh), a four-pound loin, and two pounds of pork butt. I love pork like cats love cheese. At least my cat, anyway. I open some cheddar and she comes running like a dog after bacon. See? It always comes back to bacon.

2) The event was at Honey’s, a hot new restaurant at 1111 W Lake Street in the hot restaurant neighborhood of the West Loop.

Going to that dinner was proof that I make excellent decisions. The evening was a showcase for both Smithfield DURoC and for Honey’s, and both were shown very well.

What is Duroc, you may ask? Duroc is a heritage breed of pig known for its red coloring and smooth taste and texture. Although its history before the early 1800s is a little murky, after that it’s well documented. In 1823 Isaac Frink, of Saratoga, NY, visited Harry Kelsey so he could see his famous stallion named Duroc. Frink was so impressed with the big red pigs Kelsey owned that he bought some, brought them home, and named the breed after the horse. Between then and 1893 the breed’s reputation continued to grow until the first Duroc Hog Show was hosted right here in Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition. The pigs were a hit and Duroc was here to stay.

Smithfield has been showing off their particular pork line, the DURoC, at a series of Chef’s Table events around the country. When they picked Honey’s as their location for the Chicago event, they picked well. From the opening salvo of a rum cocktail garnished with a whole piece of candied bacon, to the B.L.T., to the bacon wrapped tenderloin (everything comes back to bacon, see?), they were on target. The staff was there exactly when you needed them and the passed apps, the cocktails, and the wine were free-flowing. The space itself is gorgeous, offering a sexy, sophisticated hideaway from the overhead tracks just outside the door.

But enough words from me. Let these pictures share a few thousand of their own.

BLT at Smithfield DURoC Chef's Table

Smithfield DURoC Chef's Table

Bacon wrapped tenderloin at Smithfield DURoC Chef's Table

Oysters Rockefeller at Smithfield DURoC Chef's Table

Oysters Rockefeller at Smithfield DURoC Chef's Table


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