The Iowa Pork Producers Association annually holds Pork Checkoff-funded culinary contests to inspire innovative and exciting ways to menu pork. These events brings together talented chefs from across Iowa for an elegant occasion that highlights pork and its popularity as a menu favorite. The top chefs earn cash and prizes for their creations.

The Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance was held in January and IPPA held a similar event in early March for culinary students from Iowa colleges and universities. The association also partners each year with the Scott County Pork Producers and Illinois Pork Producers Association to hold the Quad Cities Taste of Elegance in Bettendorf in July.

Here is a summary of the various culinary events sponsored by IPPA:

2018 IPPA Taste of Elegance Results

First Place (Chef Par Excellence) – Chef Andrew Ungs, Whiskey Road, Cedar Falls
Second Place (Superior Chef) – Chef Alex Strauss, West Lakes Hy-Vee, West Des Moines
Third Place (Premier Chef) – Chef Tim Oathout, Zeppelins, Cedar Rapids
Media’s Choice Award – Chef Dominic Iannerelli, Jethro’s BBQ and Splash Seafood restaurants, Des Moines
People’s Choice Award – Chef Kelly Littlefield, Milk and Honey, Harlan

2018 IPPA Student Taste of Elegance Results

First Place – Kirkwood Team 1 , Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids
Second Place – Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City
Third Place – Talon’s Talent of Kirkwood, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

2018 Quad Cities Taste of Elegance

Chefs from Iowa and Illinois are invited to compete for cash and prizes at the Isle of Capri Convention Center in Bettendorf on July 16. All chefs will be required to prepare an original entree with pork belly. For more information or to register for the competition, contact Suzy Ven Horst suzyvh@yahoo.com.