DiFebo's Takes First Place at the 2019 Beach Bacon Fest
Here's what the Bethany Beach-based restaurant group prepared to win the competition.
Brian Geiger (LEFT) and Jamie Parsons (RIGHT) at the 2019 Beach Bacon Fest.//Courtesy of Brian Geiger.
DiFebo’s is on a roll. In September, chefs from the Bethany Beach-based restaurant group won first place in the Rehoboth Garlic Festival. More recently, they earned the Best Bacon at the Beach, an overall award, at the 6th Annual Dewey Beach/Rehoboth Beach Bacon Fest.
The 2019 Bacon Fest, held April 26-28, was a bacon blowout. There were 20 participants based in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth. Since one of DiFebo’s three restaurants is in downtown Rehoboth, the restaurant decided at the last minute to participate, says Jamie Parsons, culinary director for DiFebo’s, which also has restaurants in Bethany Beach and Berlin, Maryland.
Parsons and Brian Geiger, executive chef at the Rehoboth DiFebo’s, didn’t have much time to put together a dish. However, they understand bacon’s appeal. “It hits all the senses,” Parsons says. "It’s salty but sweet at the same time. You like it crispy. Others like it chewy—it appeals to everyone.”
“It’s the ultimate comfort food,” Geiger adds.
To give their dish an Italian take, they came up with applewood-smoked bacon and creamed corn arancini. The rice balls are coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried. Geiger, who executed the dish, served them with shaved fennel, jalapeno-and-pancetta slaw, roasted garlic-and-bacon aioli and pork belly jam.
During the event, DiFebo’s plated 300 dishes. “It was definitely more than we expected,” says Parsons. Festival participants visited each location and cast a vote for their favorite.
Geiger received the “Best Bacon on the Beach” award at The Starboard on Sunday. There were also three award winners for each town. In Dewey, MezCali finished first, Dewey Beach Country Club landed second, and Chaps Pit Beef finished third. In Rehoboth, Salt Air finished first, G Rehoboth took second, and Blackwall Hitch finished third.
Will DiFebo’s be back next year? “You have to defend your title,” Parsons says.