Des Moines chef wins statewide competition held by the Iowa Restaurant Association
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Iowa beef and tofu on the same plate? Because why not?
A Des Moines chef took first place in a statewide culinary competition this week, creating a dish with this unusual ingredient pairing.
The Iowa Restaurant Association — in collaboration with The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council — hosted a statewide culinary competition, culminating at a celebratory gala Monday night at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown at 700 Grand Ave.
This year's winners:
The two-part competition challenged top chefs across Iowa to create entrées featuring a bottom round flat steak and a soy-based side dish or sauce.
1st place: Chef Andrew Cardillo
The Marriott, Des Moines
Dish: Sous vide Braveheart Black Angus beef bottom round flat steak with duck fat tofu fries and mash, plus marrow steak sauce
2nd place: Chef Aaron Holt
RoCA, Des Moines
Dish: Iowa beef meets Asian influences
People's choice: Chef Oscar Hernandez
712 Eat + Drink, Council Bluffs
Dish: Mediterranean spiced beef roll with tofu falafel with chili de arbol and cucumber mint yogurt sauce
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A team of professional judges visited each restaurant to evaluate each dish. On Monday, the 10 chefs showcased their competition creations in sample portions at a celebratory gala held in conjunction with Iowa Hospitality Expo. Hundreds of event attendees then voted for a people's choice winner.
"These award-winning creations highlighted the exceptional culinary talent of Iowa's chef community," said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. "The variety of this year's entries and flavors also exemplify the adaptability of these Iowa-based products to any style of cuisine. We expect to see many of these competition dishes on menus this year."