Quad Cities Taste of Elegance competition goes to Dubuque chef

Quad Cities Taste of Elegance competition goes to Dubuque chef

July 17, 2014

Kelsey Sutter, Iowa Pork Producers Association, (800) 372-7675
Chef Brad Scott, Scott Community College, (563) 441-4246


(BETTENDORF, Iowa) – A Dubuque chef was named Chef Par Excellence at the 2014 Quad Cities Taste of Elegance culinary competition in Bettendorf on July 7.

The 30th annual contest was held at the Isle of Capri Convention Center by the Iowa and Illinois Pork Producers associations. The event has been held each year since 1985 as a way to encourage white tablecloth restaurants to add pork entrees to their menus. This year’s competition attracted nine Iowa and Illinois chefs who prepared an original pork entrée for judging on taste, appearance and originality.

“Many of the chefs this year ventured out of the norm and chose to cook with pork belly. Pork Belly is a flavorful cut of pork that is high in fat and provides a different eating experience than your typical pork cuts,” said Kelsey Sutter, marketing and programs director for the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Chef Chad Myers from the Dubuque Golf Club took top honors with his “Summer Picnic Pork Belly” entrée. Myers won $1,000 from the Scott County Pork Producers and a plaque. He is now eligible to attend Pork Summit 2015 next spring at Greystone in St. Helena, California.

Local Chef Eric Johnson of the Red Crow Grille in Bettendorf was named Superior Chef for an entrée he called “Thirty-Six Hour Pork Shoulder, Smoky Popcorn Grits and Cashew Tempura Crumble with Apricot Pear Sweet and Sour.” He received a plaque and $700.

Third place, or Premier Chef, honors went to Chef Jason Culbertson of the Diamond Jo Casino’s Woodfire Grille in Dubuque. Culbertson created “Berkwood Farms Pork and Cherry Trio” and was awarded a plaque and $300.

More than 200 guests attended the evening reception and sampled each chef’s entrée before selecting Chef Josh Weathers from the Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Illinois, as the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. He received $250 and a plaque for his “Ten-Hour Pork Belly” dish.

“We were so pleased to see each chef’s creativity, knowledge of pork preparation and excitement to share the product with the guests at the reception, as well as serve new creations in their respective restaurants,” said Suzy Ven Horst of the Scott County Pork Producers and IPPA’s Restaurant and Foodservice Committee.

Martin Bros. Distribution Co., U.S. Foodservice, Scott County Pork Producers, Scott Community College, Milan Florist, Trophy Shoppe and the Isle of Capri all participated as sponsors of the Taste of Elegance competition.