Finalists Selected for Twenty-Fifth Annual Taste of Elegance Contest January 17th, 2013

Date: January 17, 2013
Media Contact: 
Linda Funk
Flavorful Insight, 515-491-8636

Interviews & photos
available upon request.

Finalists Selected for Twenty-Fifth Annual Taste of Elegance Contest

Lancaster, WI, January 17, 2013—Seven chefs from throughout Wisconsin have been selected to compete in the 2013 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance contest, which will be held at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells on January 31. The Taste of Elegance features Wisconsin’s top chefs who will prepare an original pork recipe that has not been previously featured on their menu. The reception featuring these seven chefs will begin at 6:15 p.m. The public is invited to experience the flavor and quality of foods produced by the state’s farmers.

Tickets for the Taste of Elegance are $20.00 each. Attendees can sample menu specialties from chefs who will be competing for the title of Chef Par Excellence, top prize of $750, and a complimentary trip from the National Pork Board to the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, CA. The Superior Chef will receive $500, and $250 will be awarded to the Premium Chef. New to the contest this year will be a ‘Best Use of Soy’ Award with a prize of $250, featuring soy accompaniments, where chefs can include soy nuts, edamame, tofu, soy sauce, or soybean oil, with their pork entrée. In addition, those in attendance at the reception will select their favorite entrée, and a $250 People’s Choice Award will be presented.

The Taste of Elegance was created to encourage pork menuing in a creative and non-traditional manner. Judging is based on taste, appearance and originality.

The chefs who will be competing in this elegant contest are:

  • Chef Aaron Fidder, Wisconsin Machine Shed Restaurant, Appleton
  • Chef James Deptula, Heatland Grill, Madison
  • Chef Lisa Hitchcock, Survivors Bar and Grill, Wisconsin Dells
  • Chef Paul Cummings, Heidel House Resort and Spa, Green Lake
  • Chef Zachary Benson, The Pine Lodge Restaurant at Heartwood Conference Center and Retreat, Trego
  • Chef Tyler Salsbery, The Black Sheep Restaurant, Whitewater
  • Chef Rob Gamble, Bigfoot Country Club, Fontana

The Taste of Elegance not only provides an elegant occasion to highlight the increasing popularity of pork on America’s menus, but also helps to strengthen chefs’ preference for pork as a flavorful and versatile meat. Since its inception, the national program has evolved into over twenty regional competitions, with more than 4,000 chefs participating.

The Taste of Elegance is sponsored by Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association; Johnsonville Sausage; Resource Engineering Associates, Inc.; Tyson Foods, Inc.; Pork Checkoff; Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board; and Wisconsin Pork Association. The event is held in conjunction with the Corn/Soy Expo, which takes place on January 31 and February 1.

Come see and taste the latest in creative culinary preparations with pork and soy foods at this contest. Contact the Wisconsin Pork Association at 608.723.7551 to order tickets.

To learn more about soybeans and their uses for livestock feed, soybean oil and soyfoods, visit the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board website at  For pork recipes and cooking tips, along with more about the Wisconsin Pork Association, visit For more information about Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo, visit the website at

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Note:  Chef’s biographies are available from the Wisconsin Pork Association. Recipes will be available upon completion of the competition. 

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) is a grassroots, farmer-led organization that leads efforts in soybean research and the expansion of soybean market opportunities. Established in 1983 as part of a Wisconsin-mandated checkoff, the board works every day to maximize the profitability of Wisconsin soybean producers. It builds soybean demand, creates new uses for soybeans, and focuses on soybean disease research. WSMB is committed to providing statewide soy education and outreach programs that inform consumers about the benefits of soy. It offers a comprehensive soy curriculum for educators, and partners with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom to provide Soybean Science Kits and lessons that increas