Trail Ridge Chef Wins Taste of Elegance…AGAIN!

Posted on: January 29, 2014

Ryan Hembree, (CEC, CCA, WSA, DRA), Executive Chef of Trail Ridge in Sioux Falls, was named Chef Par Excellence at the 26th Annual Taste of Elegance Competition sponsored by the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. The event, with over 600 in attendance, was held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center on January 19th, 2014, and was a culinary competition between 7 of South Dakota’s most honored chefs. This event was designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to menu pork.  Judging of the entrées was based on originality, appearance, and taste.

Chef Ryan won a coveted crystal engraved plaque along with $1000 for his first place winning entrée of Korean Style Pig’s Head Terrine with Steamed Rice, Fresh Kimchi, Pickled and Cherry Wood Smoked Radish and Onion, Garlic Ginger Torched Jowl, Gochujang Charred Cheek & Sunny Up Quail Egg.   “The Korean inspired cuisine has an incredible sense of balance infused into it. Meals often consist of thoroughly meaty meats or hearty stews paired with pickled and fermented vegetables that range from lightly tart to downright funky. The spice is build-able, so heat seekers and heat shy eaters both can enjoy the savory flavors of this dish. Some flavors lean on the salty side, some sweet, some heavy, and some light. Rice is always present, providing a blandness you didn’t realize you craved. The meal is always served in ways to promote culinary harmony and balance,” states Chef Ryan.

Winning the competition gives Chef Ryan the opportunity to attend the National Pork Board Pork Summit that will be held in St. Helena, California in the Napa Valley Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Campus on April 4th – 6th, 2014. As winner of the regional competition, he will have the opportunity to spend a weekend working alongside Celebrated Chefs, experience butchering and cooking demonstrations while working alongside those Chefs in Greystone's world famous teaching kitchens.

Chef Ryan also won the “People’s Choice Award” at this same event, garnering him $250 and another crystal engraved award for his growing trophy case. Two years ago, in 2012, Chef Ryan won this same competition.  Recently, Chef Ryan won 1st place and People’s Choice at the Kiwanis Diversity Sioux Chef Challenge.  Chef Ryan is well credentialed and is also currently the President of The American Culinary Federation South Dakota Chapter of Professional Chefs.

Congratulations to Chef Ryan and keep up the awesome work.  Trail Ridge staff and residents are very proud.