Guy Fieri has some very specific thoughts on the correct amount of bacon consumption, because of course he does. When Extra Crispy spoke with the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, he spat out some Guy Math on the matter like he'd been waiting his whole life to be asked: "You take, the average is three pieces per person, so my coefficient ratio explanation breakdown is triple what you think you need." Valid! But still curious, we posted the question of "What is the right amount of bacon?" to every chef we encountered, and here's what some of them had to say.
Seamus Mullen, chef/owner of Tertulia and author of Real Food Heals
N minus 1 whereby N represents the amount of bacon that your significant other will leave you for. Otherwise N plus 1 whereby N represents the amount of bacon that you want to eat, plus one more piece.
Adam Richman, host of Man Finds Food and author of Straight Up Tasty
Too much bacon? How dare you even imply such a thing! When you can feel the back of your mouth turn into a candle from all the grease or when you feel your heart send you an SMS alert, it's time to grab the fiber.
Katie Button, chef/owner of Cúrate and author of Cúrate
I don't think there's too much bacon. I think bacon makes everything amazing. Once you make the bacon, you have the bacon fat to cook with. Bacon just keeps on giving. Everything you cook after that still tastes like bacon. I love that about bacon.
Marcus Samuelsson, chef/owner of Red Rooster and author of Marcus Off Duty
To me, it's not a lot of bacon, it's more about what you pair it with. I'm down with a little bacon, a little guanciale. Switch it up with avocado, a four or three and a half minute egg, some Aleppo pepper. Now you can go to work.
Michael Solomonov, chef/owner of Zahav and author of Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking
The right amount of bacon is excessive. I'm a big fan of bacon. We were working on a bacon, latke, and tomato sandwich at Rooster Soup. I was always a little terrified of mayonnaise growing up. I'll still eat it, but I don't love it. Egg salad with mayonnaise—I can't. I feel like I need to go to a hospital just thinking about it. I was working at a Subway sandwich place and I was scared of mayonnaise and I was taking tons of opioids, basically and they would make me mix the tuna fish salad because they knew it would make me sick, plus I was on drugs all the time.
They would take not the normal rubber gloves but the cellophane gloves that go all the way up to your forearm and tape them off because you had to make these huge batches. And you have to cut the extra-thick mayonnaise in the tubs, shake it out like a tube, otherwise you'd have to dip your arm in there and mix a huge batch of it, and they would make you keep the tuna water in it. So I would be mixing it and vomiting the whole time.
So, I don't like mayonnaise very much, but what I was getting back to—I think wheat bread, toasted with butter, excessive amounts of sliced, salted tomatoes, and tons of bacon that is really, really crispy with some of the fat, I think that is what you need. Lettuce is fine, but unnecessary. Focusing on the relationship between the salted tomatoes and the bacon works really well. Maybe a little anchovy butter on there—forget about it.
Vish Bhatt, chef at Snackbar
I don't think there is such a thing as too much bacon. It's as much as you can eat, but also saving room for breakfast sausage, because that has to be eaten as well.
John Currence, chef/owner of City Grocery and author of Big Bad Breakfast and Extra Crispy's Breakfast Chef of the Year
Bacon is a sore subject for me because I feel it got so overdone and there's enough distance between America's fascination with bacon and now that I have less of an issue with it. A rasher is two slices of bacon and I just like the idea of a rasher of bacon. It just works. With breakfast, that's enough to satisfy. It's just enough to go with a couple or three eggs. Anybody who truly loves bacon knows exactly how much bacon is the right amount of bacon. But you know what? Leave it off of pizza, people. Quit putting bacon on pizza—it just sucks.
Ming Tsai, chef/owner of Blue Ginger and host of Simply Ming
I think bacon is sometimes overused in this country. Besides in a BLT, which is all about bacon, in burgers and whatever else, it can't be the only thing you taste. When people put so much bacon and it's not a BLT—it needs to be used like the Chinese philosophy which is that meat is used for flavoring. Bacon needs to be used as flavoring, not as the actual protein. At Prime 112 here in Miami, at their bar they have the most genius free snack food. Instead of peanuts, they have pint glasses filled with crispy bacon. You know how many martinis you drink? You see these gigantic men at these steakhouses having three martinis and nine slices of bacon and then they have a bone-in ribeye and there's a defibrillator in the restaurant, 'cause they need it.