Chefs show versatility of pork at Taste of Elegance

Alan Sternberg, chef at Cerulean, Field Brewery, and Common House, showed off his skills when he won the Chef Par Excellence Award at the 2019 Taste of Elegance cooking competition by Indiana Pork.

“I kind of wanted to make a fancy pot pie because there’s a lot of nostalgia with that and a little whimsy,” he says. “We did a pork terrine, a smoked pork tenderloin, and crispy pork belly. We wanted to showcase pork lots of different ways and show a range of techniques with each cut.”

He tells Brownfield he enjoys working with pork because of its versatility.

“There’s so many things you can do with it that it’s just a lot of fun to work with and there’s no limit with what you can do with a pig,” he says.

Jeanette Merritt, director of Indiana Pork checkoff programs, says the event encourages chefs to use pork in creative ways.

“There are chefs who have featured jowl and pig cheeks and head and all sorts of different parts of the pig that we maybe don’t see on a menu everyday,” she says. “It’s there opportunity to showcase their skills and encourage our guests to think out of the box and try something different with pork.”

Other winning chefs were:

  • Superior Chef Award – Steven Oakley of Oakley’s Bistro
  • Premium Chef Award – Brian Pleasant of Crystal Catering
  • People’s Choice Award for Best Entree – Gabriel Sanudo of Black Market
  • People’s Choice Award for Best Display – Craig Mariutto of Shoefly Public House

Other awards included:

  • People’s Choice Wine – Blackhawk Winery  
  • Wine Pairing Award – Brandon Nelson of Table by Market District using wine from Mallow Run

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