Cedar Rapids chef is Quad Cities Taste of Elegance winner

Cedar Rapids chef is Quad Cities Taste of Elegance winner

A long-time chef from Cedar Rapids was named Chef Par Excellence at the 15th annual Quad-Cities Taste of Elegance contest and reception on July 10 in Bettendorf.

The Scott County Pork Producers and the Iowa and Illinois Pork Producers associations hosted the event at the Isle of Capri Convention Center and seven area chefs competed in the afternoon to create their best pork rib entrée. The evening reception allowed guests to sample each chef’s creation and vote for their favorite.

Winning Chef Monkut Sayasit

Chef Monkut Sayasit of Bata’s in Cedar Rapids prepared the winning entrée. Sayasit received a check for $1,000, sponsored by the Scott County Pork Producers, and a plaque. He is eligible to represent the Quad Cities at the 2018 National Pork Summit in St. Helena, California.

Chef Doug Lear of Bass Street Chop House in Moline, Ill. was named Superior Chef and was awarded a plaque and $700. The Premier Chef was Chris Carton of the Davenport River Center, who was awarded a plaque and $300. He also captured the People’s Choice Award as selected by the guests, picking up another plaque and ab additional $250.

A team of professional chefs judged each entrée on taste, appearance and originality earlier in the day and selected the three winners.

“We are so pleased to see each chef’s creativity, knowledge of pork preparation, and excitement to share the product with the guests at the public reception,” said Suzy VenHorst of the Scott County Pork Producers and the Iowa Pork Producer Association’s Restaurant and Foodservice Committee. “As they were all challenged to create with the same product, it was inspiring to see their combinations and sample all the different flavors that enhanced their pork entrees. We hope they will chose to share their creations in their home restaurants in the future.”

Proceeds from the event were presented to the Scott Community College Chefs Apprenticeship program.

The Taste of Elegance is held annually to inspire white tablecloth restaurants to include original pork entrees on their menus.

Additional sponsors included Martin Bros. Distributing Co. Inc., U.S. Foods, Scott Community College, Milan Florist, the Trophy Shoppe and the Isle of Capri.