2021 Speakers

Next year’s Main Event lineup: Alon and Emily Shaya Camellia Red Beans & Rice Demonstration

Founder and Co-Founder of Pomegranate Hospitality, including Saba and Safta restaurants.

“We are so excited to support the Southern Foodways Alliance, who are dedicated to preserving the foodways (like Monday Red Beans night) of the South. We really believe in their values of equality and preserving food traditions through education.”

In 2015, James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya was named one of the “50 People Who Are Changing the South” by Southern Living magazine, and one of the “50 Most Influential Jews in America” by The Forward. In 2019, his wife Emily Shaya, the “Red Bean Queen of New Orleans”, was crowned winner of the only-in-New Orleans “Bean Madness” red beans and rice cooking tournament. Both Alon and Emily’s cooking and their generous spirits perfectly express what Camp Bacon is all about: engaging the community and celebrating the cultural diversity behind the food we love. Anyone who has eaten at their restaurants, Saba or Safta, know exactly what we are talking about. We are excited for their demonstration of Emily’s award-winning recipe of Camellia beans and rice, exclusively at Zingerman’s Camp Bacon.


Ronny Drennan The Time-Honored Traditions of Dry Curing

Owner of Broadbent’s country ham and sausage in Kentucky.

“As a curer of country ham, bacon and breakfast sausage, Camp Bacon is “my kind of place”. It’s a great way to catch up with friends in the industry and best of all fans of BACON.”

Along with his wife Beth, Ronny Drennan purchased the Broadbent family business two decades ago, and still uses their original 1909 recipes. Dry cured bacon and country ham was a staple that sustained many of our first American settlers as they moved west. The Broadbent family brought the dry cure tradition with them when they moved to Kentucky, to preserve their pork. Today, Broadbent continues to dry cure country ham, bacon, and sausage using the same techniques our forefathers did.


Ashley Strickland Freeman Duke’s Mayonnaise and Bacon: A Match Made in Heaven

Author of The Duke’s Mayonnaise Cookbook: 75 Recipes Celebrating the Perfect Condiment.

“I’ve always wanted to attend Camp Bacon and am so excited to join in on the fun this year. Duke’s Mayonnaise and bacon are a match made in heaven. I’m excited to share recipes from my upcoming cookbook, The Duke’s Mayonnaise Cookbook and show how the two pair in expected and not-so-expected ways.”

Ashley Strickland Freeman is a 2017 IACP Award winning food stylist, recipe developer and tester, author, and editor. She grew up in Savannah, Georgia and realized her passion for food and cooking at a very young age. After receiving a degree in Journalism from The University of Georgia and a degree in Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center) in New York, New York, she moved to Birmingham, Alabama where she worked in the Oxmoor House test kitchens, developing, testing, and food styling recipes for cookbooks for the brands of Southern Living, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Weight Watchers, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Health, and Gooseberry Patch. From there she transitioned to the editorial side and was the Food Editor of over 30 publications before becoming a freelancer in 2013.


Nicholas Ponte Whole Hog Butcher Demonstration

Head Butcher at Marrow Detroit Butchery.

“As long-time attendees of Camp Bacon, we can’t wait to learn as well as share with other meat enthusiasts.”

Nicholas Ponte has had his hands in the meat game for over 10 years. He cut his teeth managing meat counters and working on his craft of whole animal butchery through educational conferences and competitions. Before Marrow Restaurant and Butchery opened in Detroit, he lived and worked alongside beef farmers to get to know their trade in depth. In his free time, he teaches animal butchery and fabrication classes. For Camp Bacon 2020, he will teach us about the Marrow style of whole hog butchery, their applications, and about yield production.


Jenni Harris Farm History and Regenerative Agriculture

5th generation farmer from White Oak Pastures.

“I’ve never been able to attend Camp Bacon, but I’ve always wanted to attend. I’m so excited to learn and share with those who are passionate about good food and great company.”

White Oak Pastures is raising hogs the right way. This six generation, 152-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia takes pride in farming practices that focus on regenerative land management, humane animal husbandry, and revitalizing their rural community. We know radically traditional farming creates products that are better for our land, our livestock and our village. They are fiercely proud of their zero-waste production system that utilizes each part of the animals they pasture-raise and hand-butcher on their farm.


Emily Contois From Dude Food to Meat Porn: Pork in Popular Culture and Media

Food history scholar and author.

“Zingerman’s and the Southern Foodways Alliance have both played an important role in my development as a food scholar and as an eater. They’re even in the acknowledgments in my forthcoming book, Diners, Dudes & Diets. I’m beyond excited to be part of this year’s Camp Bacon, my first!“

As a professor at The University of Tulsa and author of Eating in America Over the Last Century: What Changed and What Stayed the Same, Emily Contois explores food and media with approachability and a touch of humor. Her talk will draw from her two current research projects: a book, Diners, Dudes & Diets: How Gender & Power Collide in Food Media & Culture, and a co-edited volume, Food & Instagram: Identity, Influence & Resistance. Pork frequently pops up in popular culture and media, from journalism on dude food to #meatporn on Instagram to bacon in fast food advertising. This talk will explore what these pork examples tell us about the current state of American food media and culture.


Susan Schwallie Susan Schwallie Gen Z Will Change Your Pork

Executive Director of the NPD Group.

“Camp Bacon is always a sign of summer and delicious fun. While pigs are not a migratory animal, humans travel far and wide to gather in pure pork enjoyment at Camp Bacon. I’ve lost count how many years I’ve had the privilege of participating… I always laugh, learn and experience undeniably good porcine eats. Oh, and the people are great too!”

Susan Schwallie brings 22 years of experience to her position of Executive Director of the NPD Group. Susan translates insights about how Americans eat into action for marketing, sales, category management and corporate strategy professionals. Most recently she co-authored The Future of Dinner and The Future of Snacking studies, which predict how we will make dinner and use snack foods in 2023. Join her on a tour of 2019 food trends that are turning pork and other categories on their heads. 2019 marks her 5th appearance at Camp Bacon, which is her favorite speaking event of the year. Susan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has a lover of all things food.


James Beard Award-winning author, Adrian Miller. Adrian Miller Sistahs are Grillin’ It for Themselves: A Look at African American Women in Barbecue

Culinary historian and James Beard Award-winning author.

“Camp Bacon is the right mix of great food, fantastic minds, and amazing people!”

Think that barbecue is an “All Boys Club”? Think again! James Beard Award-winning author Adrian Miller will share the hidden history of African American women in barbecue, exclusively at our 11th Annual Camp Bacon. Adrian Miller is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown University Law School who served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton and the Deputy Director of the President’s Initiative for One America. The President’s Initiative for One America was the first free-standing White House office in history to examine and focus on closing the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities in this country. Adrian is also a culinary historian and a certified barbecue judge who has lectured around the country on such topics as: Black Chefs in the White House, chicken and waffles, hot sauce, kosher soul food, red drinks, soda pop, and soul food. His book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas, has been nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work–Non-Fiction.” Adrian recently received the “2018 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame” Award for his work on African American foodways.


James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, Molly Stevens. Molly Stevens All About Bacon

Molly Stevens Cooks , James Beard Award winning cookbook author and culinary teacher.

“I can’t wait to return to Camp Bacon! I was lucky enough to participate in the 1st and 2nd annual sessions, and it’s been great to see how much the event has evolved and grown over the years. It’s a great (and tasty) way to support the important work of the Southern Foodways Alliance, too.”

Molly’s cookbooks,  All About Dinner, All About Roasting and All About Braising all won a James Beard and International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) awards. She has been described in the New York Times Book Review as “a beautifully clear writer who likes to teach”. Molly writes regularly for Fine Cooking magazine where she is a contributing editor.  Her recipes, articles and tips also appear in Bon Appétit, Saveur, The Wall Street Journal, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Eating Well, Real Simple, and Real Food.