The Kansas Pork Association was a proud sponsor of the Taste of Elegance culinary competition held earlier this week at Harrah’s North in North Kansas City. Other sponsors were Missouri Pork Association, Smithfield Farmland, Harvesters Community Food Network, Mercer Culinary and Missouri Wine and Grape Board.

The annual event brings together top chefs to prepare pork-inspired dishes, and also serves as a way to say thank you to the Harvesters food bank donors and volunteers.

“Kansas pig farmers are honored to be part of an event that recognizes those individuals who are out making a difference in our communities,” said Tim Stroda, KPA President/CEO.

Fourteen chefs competed in the competition, with Smithfield DURoC Pork featured center plate. Their entrées were judged on originality, taste, presentation and menu applicability.

Chef Brian Hove, from Kozak’s Laketown Grill in Smithville, garnered top honors with his entrée, Smoked Pork Belly with Jalapeno Corn Cake Tostados. This winning dish earned him the $1,000 prize and an invitation to the national Pork Summit in St. Helena, Calif.

Chef Marc Auriemma with American Food & Vending at Cerner World Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., received second place with his entrée, Seared Pork Tenderloin with Fig Pork Demi, Polenta Peas and Crispy Belly. Chef William Kohn with Marquee Café in Kansas City, Kan., prepared the third place entrée of Pork Temptation.

The People’s Choice Award went to Chef Matt Chatfield with Tallgrass Creek Senior Living in Overland Park, Kan. His dish, Crispy Pork Roast Croquette, was a crowd favorite.

“Pig farmers work hard to produce quality pork, just as chefs work hard to create quality dishes,” Stroda said. “This event is a great way to showcase both.”

Winners Announced in Kansas City Taste of Elegance