Official Rules & Guidelines for the competition on March 6, 2023.

See who won the 2023 contest.

  1. The contest will be held March 6, 2023, at the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny, IA. The address is: 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd. Building 7. In case of severe weather, the contest will be cancelled, and schools will be notified prior to March 6th.
  2. Culinary Schools in Iowa are invited to have their students participate in the contest. Entries will consist of teams of two to four students. Registration of entries must be returned to the Iowa Pork Producers Association by February 21, 2023. There is a limit of 4 teams per school.
  3. Contestants will prepare a main entrée utilizing Pork Blade Steak. This is a steak cut from the shoulder or blade of the pig. The cut is not as tender as pork loin but offers more fat and meatier flavor. The judging plate must include at least 4 oz. of pork blade steak as the main ingredient. Other pork cuts or proteins may be used in addition to compliment the dish. Pork can take on almost any flavor profile so get creative and enjoy the versatility pork provides!
  4. We recognize that many pork cuts benefit from slow cooking/prepping techniques, and we don’t want to eliminate these techniques due to time constraints the day of the contest. You may prep your pork ahead of time (brining, marinating, smoking, etc.) and finalize your preparations and cooking during your kitchen time on-site. Instructors must ensure that only the participating team members are working on the dish. No complimenting sides (starch, vegetable, sauce, gravy, etc.) may be made in advance except for pantry items like condiments, pickled items, fermented items, breads, etc. Anything pre-made must still be included in the recipes and it must be clearly noted that it was made in advance of the competition.
  5. Instructors will not be allowed in the kitchen at any time during the competition. During the student’s prep and cook time, questions may be asked to instructors, but may only take place in the commons area.
  6. The entrée is to be accompanied by two side dishes to compliment the entrée or at least be a complete entree that could be served in a restaurant setting.
  7. Plate Change: DMACC will furnish standard white dinner plates for the teams OR you may provide your own as long as they are solid white and you limit your presentation to one course. (i.e. you cannot present multiple dishes unless they are stacked together like a bowl on top of a plate). Students are asked to prepare four (4) entrée plates for the day (three for the judges and one for the display table). Please also plan to prepare samples of your dish for students/instructors in the waiting area to taste while your dish is being evaluated (at least 9-15 extra oz.)
  8. Most of the food preparation is to take place on the premises the day of the contest. Contestants will have access to the Iowa Culinary Institute’s kitchen. Equipment available to contestants includes: Oven, stovetop, and work area surface. Please note that each school is responsible for bringing their own ingredients, including the pork. The Iowa Culinary Institute will not provide any food items. If you have questions, please contact Kelsey Sutter at (515) 225-7675 (office) or (515) 681-4567 (cell).
  9. Recipes: Cost of food is limited to $7.00- $12.00 per serving. A food cost breakdown sheet and a recipe, including ingredients, measurements and methods, must be submitted to the Iowa Pork Producers Association by February 21, 2023. Recipes must be neatly typed as they will be submitted to the judges as submitted. Please do not include your school name, instructor name or team member names on your recipe document – just your entrée title. Recipes may be released for publication and the Iowa Pork Producers Association reserves the right to use the recipe for promotional use.
  10. The judging will begin at approximately 12:00 noon depending on the number of teams competing. Teams will be assigned judging times after February 21st via e-mail, which is why everything must be turned in on time! Teams will have 120 minutes before their assigned judging time to prepare their entrees and it is expected that you utilize this full time for preparations. Judging will take place in 15-minute increments. Your plates should be ready to go at your judging time. Any delays will cause a deduction in your overall score. Any plates over 5 minutes late may be disqualified.
  11. There will be three The judging will be a blind tasting of the pork entrée. Members of the IPPA Restaurant & Foodservice Committee will carry in the plates to the judging room. Please wait outside the judging room while your plates are being evaluated. The judges will invite you in to go over your entrée and offer suggestions. Instructors may also enter to hear judges’ feedback.
  12. Winners will be announced after judging is complete. IPPA requests that each school/team stays for the announcement of the results at the end of the judging day.
  13. Please do not bring any wine, beer or other beverages for pairing with the entrée as it will not be in the criteria for judging. Also, please do not bring table displays as they also will not be judged. This is strictly a contest focused on the pork entrée and the learning involved.
  14. Contestants are required to wear professional chef’s attire: Chef’s hat, white, black or check pants; and a chef’s coat. No ball caps, please.
  15. Each team cannot not exceed four students. 1st Place team members will be awarded $100 each.  2nd Place team members will be awarded $50 each and 3rd Place team members will be awarded $25 each.
  16. IPPA will reimburse schools for their traveling expenses. We will calculate your roundtrip mileage and send you a check for $.55/mile for one vehicle after the contest. In addition, participating schools will be given $500 for their food and contest expenses. The school with the winning team will be awarded $750 for use in scholarships or an educational fund, 2nd place school will receive $500 and 3rd place school will receive $250.

Kelsey Sutter

Iowa Pork Producers Association