Winners Announced in 2015 Kansas City Taste of Elegance

Columbia, Mo.,— Chef Michael Crostowski, from Olathe District Culinary Program in Olathe, Kansas, garnered top honors at the Taste of Elegance culinary competition held February 24 at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott. His winning entrée, Herb Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Pablano Potato Croquette, Avocado Mosaic and Rich Tomato Demi, earned him the $1,000 prize and an invitation to the national Taste of Elegance event.

The event was sponsored by the Missouri Pork Association, Kansas Pork Association, Smithfield Farmland, the Kansas City Downtown Marriott, Harvesters Community Food Network, Mercer Culinary, and Missouri Wine and Grape Board. Sixteen chefs competed in the competition, with Smithfield DURoC Pork featured center plate. Their entrées were judged on originality, taste, presentation and menu applicability.

Chef Derek Losson with the Marriott Overland Park in Overland Park, Kansas, received second place with his entrée, Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Parsnip Mash, Pork Belly Braised Brussels Sprouts. Chef Brian Hove with Kozak’s Laketown Grill in Smithville, Missouri, prepared the third place entrée of Beer Braised Pork Belly with Apple and Kale Salad.

This year, there was a tie for the People’s Choice Award. Chef Sophia Chatfield with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lenexa, Kansas and Chef Justin Spencer with the Final Cut Steakhouse in Kansas City, Kansas. Chef Chatfield prepared a Grilled Pork Chop with Chimicurri Rojo, Pebre, Peruvian Black Beans “Escabechado,” and Salsa Criolla, while Chef Spencer’s entrée was titled The Southerner.

Chef Crostowski will advance to the national Pork Summit event in St. Helena, California, which has been sponsored by the National Pork Board since 1987.

“We are proud to be associated with the Taste of Elegance event,” said Scott Phillips, chairman of the Missouri Pork Association. “Chefs are given a great opportunity to work with quality pork, and we hope they incorporate these dishes into their menus.”

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, or call the Missouri Pork Association office at (573) 445-8375.