The national Taste of Elegance contest brings together some of the country’s best chefs to share their talent using pork,” says Craig Christensen, National Pork Board president. “This competition inspires chefs nationwide to use pork in planning fine-dining menus.”

Each national contestant had to win a state or regional contest with an original pork entree that was judged for taste, appearance and originality. The Taste of Elegance contest was created to encourage chefs to use pork in creative, non-traditional ways more often.

“When chefs think about pork, they are more likely to include it on their menus,” says Christensen. “This type of competition brings pork producers and chefs together so they can share ideas. When chefs understand more about pork, and pork producers understand more about what chefs want, it helps improve the demand and satisfaction for pork.”

Fourteen chefs took part in this year’s national Tast of Elegance event. Here’s a list of the winners:

  • Chef Par Excellence:  Joseph Royer, The Coach House, Oklahoma City, Okla. - Confit of smoked pork belly with Asian-spiced pork tenderloin.
  • Superior Chef:  Ryan Schroeder, Jr., The Pines at Bristlecone, Hartland, Wis. - “Upscale BBQ”, hickory scented pork tenderloin with a sweet and zesty pomegranate BBQ sauce.
  • Premium Chef:  Shad Kirton, Hotel Pattee, Perry, Iowa- Seared pork tenderloin with warm apple and pork confit salad, Maytag blue cheese ice cream and cinnamon/almond crostini.