Dario Cecchini, the world-famous butcher from Panzano, Italy, finishes fabricating a porchetta, while his wife Kim translates Italian to English for Pork Summit attendees.


The National Pork Board, along with seven state pork associations including Kansas, hosted the Midwest Pork Summit in Iowa City earlier this summer.
The three-day event provided chefs from around the Midwest a comprehensive farm-to-fork pork education taught by food industry thought leaders, pork producers, pork experts and well-known chefs from across the country. The summit also provided a more in-depth understandings of pork as a preferred and profit-producing protein for the foodservice industry.

Presentations included:

  • A food science presentation by culinary scientist Dr. Ali Bouzari
  • Butchering demonstrations
  • Discussions on ensuring consistently delicious pork, including equilibrium brine, proper end-point cooking temperature and low-and-slow cooking methods
  • The producer’s perspective from America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Leon Sheets
  • Fabrication demonstrations put on by members of the National Pork Board’s channel marketing team
  • A barn tour at Brenneman Pork in nearby Washington, Iowa
During their final day, the chefs put their culinary skills and newfound understanding of pork to work through a market basket challenge. Dividing into eight teams, the chefs worked to create a total of 40 different dishes and recipes featuring pork at the center of the plate. Chefs were encouraged to focus on using the pork loin and fresh pork leg for many of their dishes. Their creations and recipes will be featured in several restaurant industry publications and on Yummly.

Other state associations who sponsored the event include Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Summit hosts chefs from around the Midwest