Posted July 13, 2012
The Iowa and Illinois Pork Producer associations held the 28thannual Quad Cities Taste of Elegance contest in Bettendorf July 9 and an Illinois chef captured top honors.
Doug Lear, chef at the Bass Street Chop House in Moline was named Chef Par Excellence for his Root Beer Braised Pork Cheek with Chili Crusted Herb Sweet Potato Croquette. Lear received a plaque and $1,000 for his winning entree and was invited to represent the Quad Cities at Pork Summit 2013, a National Taste of Elegance competition at Greystone in California next spring.
Lear doubled his pleasure by also being named the winner of the People’s Choice Award. For that honor, he received a plaque and $250 from the Scott County Pork Producers.
Judges selected Chef Mon Sayasit of Daniel Arthur’s in Cedar Rapids as Superior Chef. He was awarded a plaque and $700 for his Modern Pork Bowl dish.
The Premier Chef award went to Jerimy Henson, chef at 4 Play Sports Pub in Rock Island, IL. Henson received $300 as well as a plaque. His entrée was Chickaree Sous Vide Pork Shoulder, Jalapeno Carrot and Current Cole Slaw.
“Our committee feels this evening was a great success. The guests in the ballroom truly enjoyed all the different tastes of each chef’s entrée,” said Suzy VenHorst of the Scott County Pork Producers and a member of the Iowa Pork Producer Association’s Restaurant and Foodservice Committee. “We are definitely looking forward to next year’s competition and the creativity of the chefs who compete.”
More than 200 people attended the event and enjoyed the pork samples provided by each of the nine area chefs who took part in the competition, held in the ballroom of the Isle of Capri Convention Center in Bettendorf. The competing chefs included four from Illinois and five from Iowa.
Martin Bros. Distribution Co., Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution, the Scott County Pork Producers, Scott Community College, Milan Florist, Trophy Shoppe and the Isle of Capri also participated as sponsors.
The Taste of Elegance competition was introduced in 1985 by the Illinois Pork Producers Council as a way to encourage white tablecloth restaurants to add pork entrees to their menus. The entrees are judged on taste, appearance and originality.