Dubuque casino chef wins 2014 Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance contest

Dubuque casino chef wins 2014 Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance contest

Posted Jan. 30, 2014

A chef at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque captured top honors at the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s 2014 Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance competition in Des Moines.

Chef Kevin Scharpf was named Chef Par Excellence in IPPA’s 28th annual culinary contest Jan. 20 at the Des Moines Marriott. Scharpf titled his winning pork entrée “Berkwood Farms Pork Collar with Trotter Bonbon.”

IPPA presented Scharpf with $1,000, a plaque and the opportunity to compete in the National Pork Summit competition in St. Helena, Calif., this spring. His entrée also received the People’s Choice Award. He received an additional $250 and a plaque for being the people’s choice. Scharpf, representing another Dubuque restaurant, took third in last year’s contest.

The title of Superior Chef went to Chef Chad Myers from the Dubuque Golf and Country Club. His “Beer Brined Braised Pork Belly” earned the second place award and Myers received $500 and a plaque.

Chef Monkut Sayasit of Batas Restaurant in Cedar Rapids captured third place with an entrée he called “Pork Flatiron Steak” and he was presented the Premier Chef plaque and $250.

A dozen chefs from around Iowa entered this year’s competition. Each was required to use a fresh pork cut in an original entrée. The winning pork dishes were selected on the basis of taste, appearance and originality by a panel of judges.

Kenny Peterson, a retired hog farmer and restaurant owner; Jessica Dunker, executive director of the Iowa Restaurant Association; and Chef Barry Greenberg, 2013 Taste of Elegance Chef Par Excellence, judged this year’s competition.

A crowd of 180 invited guests enjoyed the evening reception, samples of each chef’s entrée, and the award ceremonies. Six Central Iowa wineries also were on hand sampling their best products.

The Taste of Elegance is a Pork Checkoff-funded culinary competition designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to menu pork. This event brings together talented chefs from across Iowa for an elegant occasion that highlights pork and its popularity as a menu favorite.

The 2014 IPPA Taste of Elegance competition helped kick off the 42nd annual Iowa Pork Congress, held Jan. 22 and 23 at the Iowa Events Center.