2017-toe-logo

The Taste of Elegance is a competition hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association to celebrate pork and find Iowa’s Best Pork Entrée in fine dining. Hog farmers work hard to produce safe, wholesome and affordable pork for all consumers to enjoy and we know that chefs work equally hard to create superior entrées that keep their customers coming back. It takes both industries working together to better serve consumers and we want to celebrate with Iowa’s top chefs!

  • 31st Annual Iowa Taste of Elegance Competition
  • Held Jan. 23, 2017, at the Iowa Events Center in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa
  • Chef Par Excellence wins a trip to the National Pork Summit in California and a $1,000 cash prize
  • Plaque & monetary awards for Top Three Chefs & People’s Choice
  • Evening reception to celebrate the dishes, present awards and select People’s Choice
  • IPPA will gladly accommodate a one night stay at the Marriott
  • Limit of 12 chefs for the competition

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Commitment forms due back to IPPA by January 3, 2017
  • Recipes and Biographies due to IPPA by January 10, 2017
  • Contest held January 23, 2017
  • National Pork Summit 2017 (Spring 2017)

2017 Contest and Reception Rules and Guidelines

The Contest

  1. 1. The contest will be held on Jan. 23, 2017, at the Iowa Events Center in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Chefs may arrive any time between 12:00 Noon and 2:30 p.m. ALL chefs, regardless of judging time, must be checked in by 2:30 p.m.
  2. The Taste of Elegance competition is an individual chef event for professional chefs. Chefs may be sponsored by their restaurant or workplace establishment and promote it at the event, but they are competing as an individual.
  3. Signed Commitment Forms to compete are due Jan. 3, 2017.
  4. Once a chef has won the title of Chef Par Excellence, they are ineligible to compete the following year in any Taste of Elegance competition. A different chef from the same restaurant/ establishment may compete.
  5. A chef may only compete in one Taste of Elegance competition per year.
  6. The competition will be limited to 12 chefs. The winner is invited to an expenses-paid trip to the 2017 Pork Summit, to be held in late March at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA. If the winner cannot attend, 2nd place is eligible.
  7. photo courtesy of Christine Gallary
    photo courtesy of Christine Gallary

    NEW! Each contestant will prepare a main entrée utilizing the Pork Tenderloin Cut. Pork tenderloin is the muscle that runs alongside the backbone, is one of the most tender cuts of pork and is the perfect canvas for many flavors. The contest requires the use of this cut as the main ingredient in the entrée. At least 4 oz. should be used in the judging plate. Other pork cuts may be used in addition to compliment the dish.

  8. Each contestant is responsible for furnishing all recipe ingredients, cooking utensils, chafing dishes; three plates for presentation to the judges and one plate for presentation at the reception that evening. Each competing chef will receive a $200 stipend to offset their pork costs after completing the competition.
  9. It is encouraged that the pork entrée submitted for competition also be featured on the chef’s menu in his/her establishment. We are looking for a consumer-friendly entrée.
  10. Contestants must submit recipes to the Iowa Pork Producers Association no later than Jan. 10, 2017. The recipe will not be published. Recipes must be e-mailed in a Microsoft Word document so the format can be edited for the judging binders. Your recipe will not be altered. You must follow the recipe you submitted during the contest – no changes will be permitted after submission. Measurements are not necessary in your submission. Step-by-step preparation methods and all ingredients are required.
  11. A short biography also must be submitted by Jan. 10, 2017, for use in the contest program and post-promotion.
  12. Contestants will be utilizing the Wells Fargo Arena kitchen to prepare their judging plates and samples. Judging will take place near the kitchen and the reception will take place in the Iowa Events Center conference space. Chefs will be assigned hot holding cabinets to transport samples to the reception area. Kitchen workspaces must be cleaned before leaving for the reception.
  13. Contestants will have access to a stove, oven, steamer, flat top grill, fryer and walk-in cooler. For kitchen questions, contact Ali Brackett with the Iowa Events Center at 515.564.8249.
  14. Contestants are required by the Iowa Events Center to wear appropriate chef attire including chef’s hats – ball caps are not allowed. The Iowa Events Center has specific rules for using colored cutting boards for raw versus cooked product. Contestants will follow these rules and sign a participation agreement with the Iowa Events Center before using their kitchen space.
  15. There will be three judges. The judging will begin at 3 p.m. Contestants will be notified of their specific judging time prior to the contest. Contestants must have their plates ready at their designated time. If it is more than three minutes after the designated time, the chef may be disqualified. Chefs will need to prepare four (4) plates total – three for the judges and one for the People’s Choice Table Display. Chefs must furnish their own dinner plates.
  16. The judges will be evaluating the entrée only. Side dishes and garnishes should be complimentary to the entrée, but will not be judged. Judging will be done by blind tasting. Judges will be served by IPPA’s Restaurant & Foodservice committee members and will not have contact with contestants until all entrées have been judged.
  17. Judging will be based on the following point system:

Criteria

Points

Taste

60

Appearance

25

Originality

15

Total

100

 

The Reception

  1. The reception will start at 6 p.m. and end by 8:30 p.m.
  2. Awards will be presented at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Chef Par Excellence $1,000.00
Superior Chef $500.00
Premier Chef $250.00
People’s Choice $250.00
  1. Each contestant will be furnished an 8’x 8’ booth, with two 6’x 2’ long tables to display promotional items for their restaurant and provide space for serving samples. Booths must be set up by 5:45 p.m. No audio or TV displays will be allowed at the reception.
  2. Each restaurant must provide a presentation plate to show what their entrée would look like if ordered at their restaurant. All presentation plates will be placed on a display table for People’s Choice voting.
  3. Each chef that competes must provide bite size (1 oz.) samples of their entrée for at least 350 people and chafing dishes for serving. The Iowa Events Center can provide chafing dishes if requested one week prior to the competition. Small serving plates and forks will be provided at each chef’s reception station. If a chef does not provide samples, he/she will be disqualified from the competition. The People’s Choice Award will be voted on based on these samples.

2017 TOE Commitment

Form announcing chef's commitment to participation.

Please call or e-mail Kelsey Sutter at the Iowa Pork Producers Association with any questions at (800) 372-7675 or ksutter@iowapork.org.