Winners Announced in 2015 St. Louis Taste of Elegance Culinary Competition

Columbia, Mo.,—Chef Gary Suarez with Suarez Catering in St. Louis garnered top honors at the 2015 St. Louis Taste of Elegance culinary competition held November 2 at the Renaissance St. Louis Hotel Airport. His winning entrée, Pork Rib Al Pastor with Yuca Mofongo and Pork Belly Posole, earned him the $1,000 prize and an expense paid trip to the national Pork Summit in St. Helena, California.

The event was sponsored by the Missouri Pork Association, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Smithfield Farmland, Missouri Wine and Grape Board, Mercer Culinary and the Renaissance St. Louis Hotel Airport. The event was also promoted by the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Ten chefs competed in the competition using DURoC Pork provided by Smithfield. The entrées were judged on originality, taste and presentation.

Chef Cory Yeates with the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis received second place and $500 with his entrée, Pork Hodge Podge. Chef Shun Ammons with Mac’s Downtown Alton in Alton, Illinois prepared the third place entrée, titled Deconstructed Pork Belly Confit. He also received the People’s Choice Award, receiving a total of $350 in prize money.

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

“We are happy to sponsor the Taste of Elegance,” said Scott Phillips, chairman of the Missouri Pork Association. “Working with chefs to create new and exciting pork dishes for their menus is a great way to increase pork demand and introduce its flavor and versatility to consumers.”

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.

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