Jonathan Ricks wins 2010 Titanium Beef Chef competition at South Dakota State Fair
PIERRE, SD – The smell of succulent beef drifted through the fairgrounds Sept. 2 as professional chefs vied for the title of Titanium Chef in the third annual Titanium Chef Beef Competition during the South Dakota State Fair. Taking home the title of Titanium Chef for 2010 was Chef Jonathan Ricks of Sioux Falls.
The Titanium Chef Beef Competition, sponsored by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, featured four professional chefs cooking for a panel of judges in front of a State Fair audience. Inspired by the Food Network’s popular program, Iron Chef, the Titanium Chef competition offers culinary professionals a way to showcase their talents using beef. SD Beef Industry Council Director of Nutrition and Consumer Information Holly Swee, said, “The Titanium Chef Beef Competition is designed to showcase beef as affordable, nutritious and delicious. Ultimately, we want to help chefs find more ways to menu beef and attract customers to their facilities.”
This year’s theme for the competition was 29 Lean Cuts; One Powerful Protein, reflecting the multitude of lean beef cuts available today. Only beef recipes using one of the 29 Lean Cuts were eligible for the competition. Chef Ricks prepared Flank Steak Wrap, an entree using flank steak seasoned with southwestern flavors. Ricks explained, “I marinated the flank steak overnight in Italian dressing. That is an old trick my dad taught me. The marinade helps tenderize the steak so you don’t have to cook it well done.” Ricks partnered the grilled beef with avocado, lime, chipotle, lettuce, caramelized onions and roasted red peppers in a tortilla wrap.
Ricks enjoys working with beef, explaining how the flavor of beef enhances taste and enjoyment. “Beef has such wonderful flavor. As you move through the variety of beef cuts, they offer different flavor intensities and textures that are fun to work with. Personally I prefer the lean cuts, which are naturally low in fat,” said Ricks.
Only four chefs were selected from a state-wide pool of entries to compete at the State Fair Titanium event. Ricks was awarded the title of Titanium Beef Chef and received an award of $600. Taking second in the competition was Chef Daniel Koble of Sioux Falls with his entree, Braised Flank Steak with Amalau. Rapid City chef Tessie Moline’s dish, Asian Seared Fillets with Balsamic Orange Slaw and Creamy Jasmine Rice, placed third in the competition. The fourth place award went to Sioux Falls chef Holly Jansma for her dish, “Jerky” Mango Beef Noodle.
The winning recipes from the 2010 Titanium Chef Beef Competition will be available later this fall at http://www.sdbeef.org. The Titanium Chef Beef Competition was sponsored by SD beef producers through the Beef Checkoff program.
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