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Internet-Famous Ramen Coming to Baconfest in April

Ramen_Lord will pop-up at this year’s event

Bacon ramen from Ramen_Lord
Mike Satinover/Instagram
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

2019 marks the 11th year of Baconfest, the annual event that unites several of Chicago’s premier restaurants to serve thousands of customers roaming the event floor unique items featuring bacon. The yearly celebration still garners buzz and friendly competition between chefs. It takes place this year on April 5-6 at the UIC Forum.

While the fest is still one of the best-organized food events in the city, organizers are trying something new this year. They’re holding a pop-up and invited the underground ramen sensation who goes by “Ramen_Lord.” Internet-famous chef Michael Satinover will serve bowls of bacon-infused ramen to VIP Baconfest guests on Friday, April 5.

Baconfest co-founder Seth Zurer was hooked after trying Satinover’s ramen. Satinover’s held Akahoshi pop-up dinners since 2017 at places including Paulie Gee’s in Logan Square. Using the Ramen_Lord moniker on Reddit, Satinover’s earned a loyal following. He’s a suburban Oak Park native who works in marketing. He’s also written a bit on ramen at the Takeout. Satinover spent a year studying in Japan. He returned to the states about 10 years ago and began obsessing over various ramen styles after finding American restaurants didn’t serve ramen to his liking.

As Chicagoans and others debate what makes Midwestern cuisine, Satinover considers his Baconfest entry the Midwestern version of ramen. It will be decadent.

“I love pushing the culinary boundaries of the dish,” Satinover said.

He’ll get the opportunity at Baconfest where he’ll prepare 100 to 200 bowls, depending on attendance, for the VIP crowd on the event’s first day. He’s still working out the exact recipe, but he’s working on a tonkotsu broth with bacon fat and “melty, tender” sous-vide bacon. The Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon gives the broth a predictable smoky cured base. The bacon replaces the chashu and gives the bowl a caramelized texture, said Satinover, with the broth having a creamy and rich flavor. They’ll use noodles from Sun Noodles, the Japanese company that supplies many of America’s best ramen shops.

The Tribune raved about the ramen last year and Zurer said he was impressed by Satinover’s commitment to perfection in how he tinkers to get it just right. They’ll offer Baconfest attendees more new events this year, but collaborating with Ramen_Lord gives the 2019 event new flair and more incentive to pick up VIP tickets for the $130 price tag.

UIC Forum

725 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 413-9875