March 31, 2010
For More Information, contact
Don Nikodim, (573) 445-8375
Springfield and Branson Area Chefs Participate in
Taste of Elegance Culinary Competition
Columbia, Mo.,—Chef Matt Stinnett with Bijan’s Sea and Grille in Springfield received highest honors during the Springfield/Branson Taste of Elegance culinary competition held March 29 at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center in Springfield. Chef Matt prepared a Braised Pork Duo: Pork Belly with Caramelized Apple and Goat Cheese Polenta, Wilted Lacinato Kale, Root Beer and Bourbon Bubbles; Pork “Wing” Shank with Sunchoke Puree, Asparagus Ribbons, and Natural Jus and Maple Laquer. His winning dish earned the $1,000 top award and the opportunity to compete in the National Taste of Elegance event to be held in Baltimore, Maryland in June.
The Springfield/Branson Taste of Elegance was hosted by the Missouri Pork Association and the Ozarks Food Harvest. Pork products for the evening were sponsored by Cargill featuring Tender Choice pork. The Ramada Oasis Convention Center and Missouri Wine and Grape Board provided additional support.
Nine chefs prepared dishes for judging on originality, taste and presentation. Previous winners, master chefs and food editors may serve as judges. More than 200 attendees also sampled the dishes during a reception to honor Ozarks Food Harvest donors. Guests voted Chef Dustin Murray with the Hilton’s of Branson the People’s Choice Award winner for his entrée, Molasses Rubbed Pork Shoulder and Smoked Pork Belly Grits infused with Smoked Blue Cheese, Cider Braised Cabbage, Fried Sweet Potato Strings and Applejack BBQ Sauce.
Second place and $500 went to Chef Brian Romano with Cooks Kettle in Springfield for his entrée, Molasses Grilled Pork with Sweet Potato-Coconut Milk Puree, Grilled Corn Salad and Poblano-Cilantro Crema. Chef Chad Horvath with the Chateau on the Lake/Chateau Grille in Branson received third place and $250 with his entrée, Smoked Apple Cider Pork Belly.
Additional chefs competing included Chef Sam Papanikas, Bleu Olive in Branson; Chef Robert Stricklin, The Keeter Center, Point Lookout; Chef Chadwick Isom, Victory Trade School, Springfield; Chef Stephen Clark, Twin Oaks Country Club, Springfield; and Chef Justin Myrick, Fire and Ice, Springfield.
This is the 23rd year for national Taste of Elegance events. The National Pork Board sponsored the first event in 1987.
“We are proud to sponsor the Taste of Elegance events,” said Don Nikodim, executive vice president of the Missouri Pork Association. “Working with chefs to create new menu items, then promoting those items, helps build demand for pork, while introducing consumers to the product’s great taste.”
The Missouri Pork Association represents the state’s pork producers in the areas of promotion, research, education and legislation. For more information about this or any other programs of the Missouri Pork Association, go to www.mopork.com, or call the Missouri Pork Association office at (573) 445-8375.