Columbia, Mo.,—Chef Nathan Frazo with Chartwell’s at Missouri State University in Springfield received highest honors during the Springfield/Branson Taste of Elegance culinary competition held October 29 at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield. Chef Nathan’s entrée was titled Comfort of Pork: Chipotle Apple Brine Pork Chop, Smokey Polenta, Charred Maple Brussels Sprouts, Monte Cristo Purse, House Cured Bacon, Cave Aged White Cheddar, Bacon-aisse and Blackberry Jam. His winning dish earned the $1,000 top award.
The Springfield/Branson Taste of Elegance was hosted by the Missouri Pork Association and the Ozarks Food Harvest. Pork products for the evening were sponsored by Smithfield DURoC Pork. The Oasis Hotel & Convention Center and Missouri Wine and Grape Board provided additional support. Thanks to St. James Winery for providing wine samples during the banquet.
Over 200 attendees sampled the dishes during a reception to honor Ozarks Food Harvest donors. Guests voted Chef Nathan People’s Choice Award winner.
Second place in the competition and $500 went to Chef Branden Bentley with the Wildseed in Strafford for his dish titled Fall Harvest: Country Pate, Porchetta di Testa, Apple Butter, Horseradish Egg Salad, Toasted Rye, Creme Fraiche, Pistachio Crumb and Pickled Fennel. Third place and $250 went to Chef Scott Horned with Cox Health for his Havana Stuffed Pork Loin, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans.
“We are proud to sponsor the Taste of Elegance events,” said Don Nikodim, executive vice president of the Missouri Pork Association. “Working with chefs to create new menu items, then promoting those items, helps build demand for pork, while introducing consumers to the product’s great taste.”
Five chefs prepared dishes for judging on originality, taste, presentation and menu applicability. This year’s judges included: Chef Chef Jennifer Smith with The Traveling Chef in Springfield, and Jamie Worthwine with Smithfield Foods, Stephanie Andreatta with Osage Marketing and Dana Miller with Smithfield Foods.
This is the 32st year for national Taste of Elegance events. The National Pork Board sponsored the first event in 1987.
The Missouri Pork Association represents the state’s pork producers in areas of promotion, research, education and legislation. For more information about this or any other programs of the Missouri Pork Association, go to www.mopork.com, or call the Missouri Pork Association Office at (573)445-8375.
Note to Media: Photos of the winners and winning entrée’s are available. Please contact Diane Slater at (573) 445-8375.