Iowa Western team wins IPPA Student Taste of Elegance
A student culinary team from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs prepared the winning entree in the Iowa Pork Producers Association's 11th annual Student Taste of Elegance competition on March 4 at the Des Moines Area Community College Culinary Institute in Ankeny.
The Iowa Western team of Adrianne Kessenich, Magdalena Francisco and Jenna Dunn prepared Grilled Honey Jalapeno Loin Chops with Saute Spaghetti Squash and Grilled Asparagus with Blue Cheese Reduction and won the event's top prize. IPPA presented each winning team member with $100 cash and $1,000 for their school to use for scholarships or educational costs.
"We would like to thank the Iowa Pork Producers Association for their hard work in putting this competition together and the Des Moines Area Community College for hosting this event each year," said Karen Hander, an Iowa Western Community College culinary instructor. "We are so humbled to take home first place. The girls worked hard and I am so proud of their accomplishments."
A record 18 teams from culinary programs at Iowa Western, DMACC, Iowa Central Community College, Iowa State University and Scott Community College entered the IPPA competition.
A Scott Community College team was second and an ISU team took third. Members of the top three teams each received a certificate from IPPA and each participating school was given $500 for expenses.
The purpose of the event is to inspire innovative and exciting ways for culinary arts students to use pork in their menus and to measure their progress. The students were required to prepare a main pork entree using any fresh pork cut. A team of three professional Iowa chefs judged the entrees on taste, appearance and design. A fourth chef served as a critic and met with each team after judging to provide professional advice and answer questions.
"Pork is such a versatile product and we love providing the opportunity for students to be creative with it. We had 18 teams this year--the most we've ever had--so we were pleased to see so many students show up eager to compete," said Linda Madison of the IPPA Restaurant & Foodservice Committee. "The judges were tough, but I think the students learned a lot about elegant food preparation."
The IPPA Student Taste of Elegance is open to any Iowa college that has a culinary arts program.