On February 12, Michelle Yoshimura-Smith impressed the Iowa Bacon Royalty Judging Panel with her mastery of the bacon arts. She can throw a shuriken with precision, handle a bō staff, sing and play keys. She also not too shabby at peddling a Mario Kart. All hail our 2019 Bacon Queen, Michelle Yoshimura-Smith! OHHHHH, BACON!

Get to know Michelle

Why did you deserve to become the 2019 Bacon Queen?

"This year’s theme was East Meets West, and no one can embody this theme better than me. As the daughter of a bi-racial family, my childhood was rich with experiences from two very different worlds. One side of my family came from farmers in central Iowa. They loved their land, community, and bonded with the family over meals. As with many Iowans, they took pride in preparing a meal of locally raised pork and other locally grown food. The other side of the family is of Japanese heritage and made their home in Hawaii. My great grandfather came to America for the opportunity to work in fields and grow food with his hands. Growing up, I saw that this side of my family also loved their land, their family, and bonding over large meals.

My whole life, I have experienced that food is the best ambassador. And bacon is the best food!"

What is your ideal bacon-eating experience?

"My favorite way to eat bacon is in the Japanese dish, Okonomiyaki.
The journey begins in feeling the heat of the griddle on my hands and face as the cooking begins. The excitement grows when I scrape up the pancake and hear that ”tsss” sizzle of the bacon after the first flip. You know what I’m talking about. Then I watch tiny sparks of the bacon grease popping while the griddle warms it to perfection. As the bacon side of the okonomiyaki cooks, deeply inhale and take in the savory smell of bacon. Could it get any better? Oh just wait… Next we get to eat it! Bacon: a true Festival for the Senses!"

If you win the Bacon Queen Contest, how will you spread "Bacon Fellowship" around Iowa and the world?

"It has been so fun to experience the growth of the Bacon Fellowship across Iowa. Our next mission is to share it worldwide! Bacon Fellowship can most effectively be spread by individuals engaging in conversations, relationships and celebrations. I’ve always believed that food is one of the best ways to share and experience another culture. So let’s meet new people! Share our love of bacon! Let’s make food together, swap our favorite bacon recipes, and find common ground with people far and wide. This year, I plan to share my love of bacon with those I meet. I want to hear their stories and share mine. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Let’s have fun and bond over our shared love of this great food!"



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