Iowa Pork News Release - March 13, 2012

Iowa Pork News Release – March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012
Contact: Alison Swanson, Marketing and Programs Director
(800) 372-7675,


Culinary students step up to the plate at IPPA Student Taste of Elegance contest
(CLIVE, Iowa) — Fifteen teams of culinary students from six Iowa colleges prepared their best pork entrees in the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s 2012 Student Taste of Elegance competition March 5 at Des Moines Area Community College’s Iowa Culinary Institute in Ankeny.

The event is designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways for culinary arts students to incorporate pork into their menus. The teams were required to use fresh pork muscle cuts in their entrée and each entry was judged on taste, appearance and design.

For the first time ever, a team from Iowa Central Community College’s culinary program in Fort Dodge captured first-place honors and won two $500 scholarships for the school. Team members Mackenzie Juergensen, Sonia Kepler, Randy Hisler and Emanuel Bustos each won a $100 scholarship for their winning “Salt Crusted Pork Tenderloin.”

2nd place honors went to a culinary team from the Iowa Culinary Institute at DMACC and 3rd place went to a team from Iowa State University in Ames.  Other school culinary programs competing were teams from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Scott Community College in Bettendorf, and Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa. 

Each school received $500 to cover their expenses for participating in the competition.

The IPPA Restaurant and Foodservice Committee coordinates this event and several other Taste of Elegance competitions across the country throughout the year and committee member Nelda Christian of Ames says the contest is always a nice reflection on what the students are being taught in their culinary classes.

“The pork entrees at this year’s contest were exceptionally beautiful,” said Christian. “The judges commented that these plates could have gone up against the professional chef’s in the Iowa Taste of Elegance that we hold in January. We as a committee are thrilled that these culinary programs recognize the importance of menuing appealing pork dishes in their future restaurant establishments.” 

The Student Taste of Elegance serves as a learning competition and an opportunity for culinary students to measure their progress.

The IPPA Student Taste of Elegance is an annual competition that is open to any Iowa college with a culinary arts program.