Sous chef Ricky Hatfield (left) and line chef Ryan Klefeker of Peterson’s, Steaks, Seafood and Spirits show off the pork tenderloin sampling dish that they prepared for guests at the Taste of Elegance. The chef’s competition highlights innovative ways to cook pork.
Sous chef Ricky Hatfield (left) and line chef Ryan Klefeker of Peterson’s, Steaks, Seafood and Spirits show off the pork tenderloin sampling dish that they prepared for guests at the Taste of Elegance. The chef’s competition highlights innovative ways to cook pork.
INDIANAPOLIS — The 2013 Taste of Elegance, hosted by Indiana Pork, allowed attendees the chance to have their pork — and eat it, too.

Sarah Ford, the director of public and industry relations at Indiana Pork, noted that the event celebrates pork through chefs competing to find the most creative ways to prepare and serve the meat.

Of the 12 chefs that were competing with their teams, about half of them had participated before and the other half were new contestants, she said.

Ford added that the top chef receives a check for $1,000. A panel of 12 judges was in charge of tasting all the dishes and picking the winner.

Steve Lindell, a broadcaster for the morning show on WLBC-FM in Muncie, was one of the judges.

He noted that although he has served as an official in other competitions, this was the first one he has judged for Indiana Pork, and he had a great time doing it.

“It was phenomenal. I was surprised at how many different ways pork can be served,” he said.

Although all the chefs had to use pork, Lindell noted that each dish was dramatically different from the other, and they all were delicious.

He said that events such as the Taste of Elegance are critical to prove to people that there are several ways to prepare and consume food.

He added that although this was the first time he and his wife, Nancy, had attended the event, he sincerely hoped it was the first of many.

The dinner allows people to come together and support Indiana products such as pork, which is good for the economy, Lindell said.

Garnering the grand prize was chef Greg Schiesser of Indiana Downs in Shelbyville. His dish consisted of a candied pork belly with a Chinese dumpling and bacon infused with goat cheese.

Schiesser said that he has participated in the Taste of Elegance for more than nine years, and after winning the Chef Par Excellence Award at this year’s competition, he now has won all the award categories.

Other winners that were recognized for their innovative pork dishes included:

* Superior Chef Award — Grant Michael, Albatross Grille at Prairie View Golf Club;

* Premium Chef Award — Lucas Trinosky, The Chef’s Academy;

* Wine Pairing Award — Lucas Trinosky, The Chef’s Academy;

* People’s Choice Award for favorite entrée — Carlos Salazar, Oakley’s Bistro;

* People’s Choice Award for favorite wine — Oliver Chambourcin, Oliver Winery; and

* People’s Choice Award for favorite display — Carlos Salazar, Oakley’s Bistro.