The South Dakota Pork Producers Council held their 29th Annual Taste of Elegance competition on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The Taste of Elegance Competition is one of the pork industry’s premier events in the food service industry. This year’s first place winning entrée, Vietnamese Style Spicy Pork Noodle Bowl, featured head cuts and the petite tender which taken out of the shoulder prepared by Chef Ryan Hembree; the Executive chef at Trail Ridge Senior Living Community, Sioux Falls. This was Chef Hembree’s third time competing in South Dakota’s Taste of Elegance and winning 1st place all 3 times.
“I have been judging the South Dakota Taste of Elegance for many years now. There were chef’s from past contests and new chef’s. This was by far the most innovated and thought out dishes that I have seen at this event. Great use of ingredients that were trendy, fresh and a pleasure to judge and eat.” stated Celebrated Chef Charlie Torgerson, Executive Chef/Owner/Consultant of Charlie T’s Foods, L.L.C.; St. Paul MN
“As a Chef judge I am always excited to see what the South Dakota chef show case and as usual they all brought there “A” game. Well done CHEFS! 8 different cuts of pork in one dish and they all work together, “pork noodles” Way Good! I renamed the dish to “Bowl of Pig” outstanding. So many of the chefs, spot on cooking technique and very well flavored pork, a real joy to eat.”, stated Celebrated Chef Tim McCarty, Executive Chef at Morrison, Mayo Foundation House; Rochester, MN
Hembree received an engraved crystal award, $1,000, and will attend the Pork Summit that will be held in St. Helena, California in the Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus. He will have the opportunity to spend the weekend with Celebrity Chefs and Celebrated Chefs. They’ll experience butchering and cooking demonstrations and work alongside the Celebrated Chefs in Greystone’s world famous teaching kitchens. The Pork Summit will be held on April 6 – 9, 2017.
Chef Jean-Paul Nielsen of Kappa Alpha Theta-USD, Vermillion, had another great experience of competing at the South Dakota Taste of Elegance. This year he received 2nd place in the competition with Braised Pork Tikki Masala, and Chef Roger Titze of The Attic Bar & Grill / Ass’ociates & Co, Sioux Falls received 3rd place with Dakota Pho.
The Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition that encourages chefs to create innovative and exciting recipes using pork. A panel of four esteemed judges, including Celebrated Chef Charlie Torgerson, Executive Chef/Owner/Consultant of Charlie T’s Foods, L.L.C.; St. Paul MN, Celebrated Chef Tim McCarty, Executive Chef at Morrison, Mayo Foundation House; Rochester, MN and Chef Patrick Yaneff, Sous Chef at Minervas Restaurant; Rapid City, SD and 2016 Rapid City Taste of Elegance winner judged the entrées of 8 chefs based on originality, appearance and taste.
The chefs prepared samples of their entrées for an evening event of nearly 450 people that attended this year’s Taste of Elegance Contest at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Two Little Pigs prepared by Chef Scott Eastburn & Chef Richard Lockard of the Sheraton Hotel, Sioux Falls, received the People’s Choice Award, $250 and an engraved crystal award. The People’s Choice Runner-Up winner was Chef Heather Collazo of the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, creating Pork Belly Steam Buns. Guests also voted on the best display presentation by the chefs. Chef Heather Collazo of the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls received $100 and the Best Display Award.
Other participating chefs included Chef Nicholas Skajewski from Carnaval Brazilian Grill, Sioux Falls created Feijoada, Dumpling and Charred Marrow and Chef Kelsey Anderson from All Day Café/Taphouse 41, Sioux Falls created Chai Whiskey Pork.
Sponsoring this year’s event were Smithfield; Natural Food Holdings, Zoetis; Dimock Cheese; Strawbale Winery; Preferred Printing; O’ My Cupcakes; First Dakota National Bank; Kacotah Bank; The First National Bank in Sioux Falls; Campbell Supply; South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; National Pork Board and South Dakota Pork Producers Council.