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Viva las Bacon: Local Bacon Bash winner aims for higher stakes

Caryl Wiley, winner of the first annual River Falls Bacon Bash amateur cooking competition, hopes to take her Bacon-Bash winning candied bacon and nut-filled bacon cup recipe to the 2013 World Food Championships in Las Vegas. But she can’t afford to go without help. (River Falls Journal photo by Gretta Stark)

After winning the River Falls Bacon Bash bacon-cooking competition, Caryl Wiley is planning to pack up her bacon and bring it all the way to Las Vegas for the 2013 World Food Championships bacon competition — if she can raise enough money to go.

“I do really, really want to go,” Wiley said. “So I’m hoping that, that will come across, and people will want to support (me)… and support the River Falls name.”

Wiley’s winning Bacon Bash recipe, a bacon basket filled with candied nuts, candied bacon and chocolate-covered bacon, won her a “golden ticket” to compete in the Bacon World Championship — one of many 2013 World Food Championship competitions. Only 50 qualified bacon cooks are able to enter the competition.

However, the Bacon Bash prize only gave Wiley the qualifications necessary to enter the contest — not the money to pay for the cost of entering.

The registration alone will cost Wiley $150. Altogether she said it will cost her around $2,000 to get to Vegas and compete.

Wiley, who’s lived in River Falls for 27 years, calls herself a “little home cook.” She especially enjoys experimenting with recipes.

So what drives this little home cook to take her prize-winning recipe on the road to Vegas? A lesson she learned from surviving ovarian cancer this past year.

“You don’t know where your time is,” Wiley said. “I don’t want to lose any opportunities to do something that is way outside of my realm of comfort...It’s my shot to do something outside the box.”

Wiley said she is very excited about her chance to enter this competition.

“This is very new to me. (I’ve) never competed in anything food-wise before,” Wiley said. “This is something just totally new and different and I just wanted to do it.”

For more information, contact Wiley at 715-222-0771 or

For the full story, please see the Sept. 26 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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