St. Louis Chefs Participate in 2024 Taste of Elegance Culinary Competition

St. Louis, Mo.,—Chef Benjamin Hamlin with Eero’s at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, took top honors at the annual St. Louis Taste of Elegance culinary competition held February 5 at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel. His entrée, St. Louis BBQ Pork Steak with Collard Greens and Pimento Cheese Mac and Cheese, received the $1,000 top award.


The St. Louis Taste of Elegance was hosted by the Missouri Pork Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association. The Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel and Missouri Wine and Grape Board provided additional support. Thanks to Noboleis Vineyards, Small Batch Winery and St. James Winery for providing wine samples during the banquet.


Over 100 guests sampled the dishes during an evening reception, where they voted Chef Timothy Eagan from Fleur STL in St. Louis the People’s Choice winner for his Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Pork Belly. For this honor, he received a set of Mercer Knives.


The second-place award and $500 went to Chef Will Mabrey with Timothy’s in Creve Coeur for his Grilled Pork Belly & Kimchi Fried Rice. Third place and $250 went to Chef Shun Ammons from 1818 Chophouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, for his Deconstructed Carnitas Tostada with Black Garlic Bean Puree, Apple Pico, Roasted Tomato Salsa, Crème Fraiche, and Fried Tortilla.


Additional chefs competing included Chef Kenneth Hayden, Jr., K Hayden Chef Services & Catering, Dellwood; and Chef Phil Le, Saucy Porka STL., LLC, St. Louis.


“We are proud to sponsor the Taste of Elegance events,” said Don Nikodim, executive director 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 areas of promotion, research, education, and public policy. For more information about this or any other programs, visit, or call (573)445-8375.