Redrossa Italian Grille chef named Taste of Elegance Competition winner
The South Dakota Pork Producers Council held their 27th Annual Taste of Elegance competition on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The Taste of Elegance Competition is one of the pork industry’s premier events in the food service industry. This year’s first place winning entrée, Porchetta with Smoked Asparagus & Poblano Cream, featured pork belly and pork loin prepared by Chef Kelsey Anderson; the General Manager at Redrossa Italian Grille, Pierre. This was Chef Kelsey’s second time competing in South Dakota’s Taste of Elegance.
“The 2015 Taste of Elegance showcased where pork is going. Many of the chefs really stepped up with a variety of cuts this year. The winning chef however went old school on the bit with a traditional Porchetta. Although he did use the belly which was prepared beautifully; sometimes simple is better” stated Charlie Torgerson, Celebrated Chef and Sr. Director of Culinary/Executive Chef for Famous Dave’s of America
“The 2015 Taste of Elegance had a great new list of challengers. Plates were diverse and offered cuts of pork from belly to loin, tenderloin, cheeks and all kinds of other variety. We enjoyed the execution of flavors and techniques and know that the competition is a great breeding ground for talent”, stated Michael Foley, Celebrated Chef and judge.
“As always Sioux Falls Taste of Elegance showcases a great group of talented chefs from the state. I would think you have to be a brave and talented chef to bring a Porchetta to a contest, and I would be right. Taking a classical dish and adding your spin on it, takes a lot of skill as well as culinary disciplined. Chef Kelsey dish was very good, I pretty sure all 4 judges plates were wiped clean and when it was the first plate of 8, that is saying something. A great balance of flavors, texture, and taste there was no question that he had done his homework”, stated Celebrated Chef Tim McCarty; Executive Chef at Mayo Foundation House.
Kelsey received an engraved crystal award, $1,000, and will attend the Pork Summit that will be held in St. Helena, California in the Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus. He will have the opportunity to spend the weekend with Celebrity Chefs and Celebrated Chefs. They’ll experience butchering and cooking demonstrations and work alongside the Celebrated Chefs in Greystone’s world famous teaching kitchens. The Pork Summit will be held on March 27 – 30, 2015.
Chef Mike DeLay of Trail Ridge Retirement Community, Sioux Falls, had another great experience of competing at the South Dakota Taste of Elegance. This year he received 2nd place in the competition with Tender Belly, and Chef Nick Laughlin of Skelly’s Pub and Grille, Sioux Falls received 3rd place with Pork Belly with Ramen Gnocchi, Bubbly Pears and Spicy Dashi.
The Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition that encourages chefs to create innovative and exciting recipes using pork. A panel of four esteemed judges, including Celebrated Chef Charlie Torgerson; Sr. Director of Culinary/Executive Chef for Famous Dave’s of America; St. Paul, MN, Celebrated Chef Michael Foley; Vice President of Innovation and Brand Strategy, Cosi Restaurants International (a fresh fast casual premium restaurant group operating in 16 states and 2 countries), Chicago, IL, Celebrated Chef Tim McCarty; Executive Chef at Mayo Foundation House; Rochester, MN and Chef Farzad Farrokhi; Executive Chef at Minervas Restaurant and the winner of the 2014 Rapid City Taste of Elegance; Rapid City, SD judged the entrées of 8 chefs based on originality, appearance and taste.
The chefs prepared samples of their entrées for an evening event of nearly 500 people that attended this year’s Taste of Elegance Contest at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Downtown Carnitas prepared by Chef Alex Keehn of Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Sioux Falls, received the People’s Choice Award and $250 & an engraved crystal award. The People’s Choice Runner-Up winner was Chef Mike DeLay of Trail Ridge Retirement Community, Sioux Falls, creating Tender Belly. Guests also voted on the best display presentation by the chefs. Chef Sam Brink and Chef Scooby Schiebout of Minnehaha Country Club, Sioux Falls received $100 and the Best Display Award.
Other participating chefs included Chef Christoph Waldburger from The Deadwood Grille, Deadwood; Chef Gabriel Rivero from AZTECA Restaurant, Sioux Falls and Chef Mike Garcia from Grill 26; Sioux Falls.
–S.D. Pork Producers Council