Top chef wins Check-off's Taste of Elegance for the second time

US - Joseph Royer, executive chef of the Saturn Grill in Oklahoma City, has won top honors in the 18th annual national Taste of Elegance contest. Held this week in San Diego, California, the competition is sponsored by the Pork Checkoff.
calendar icon 9 May 2007
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The contest featured 24 chefs, all winners of state and regional Taste of Elegance contests. Royer earned Chef Par Excellence honors with his winning entrée of Modern Noodle Bowl using pork shoulder, ribs and belly, and won top prize of $5,000.

This is the second Taste of Elegance title for Royer. He won the competition in 2004 with his confit of smoked pork belly with asian spiced pork tenderloin entrée.

“The national Taste of Elegance contest brought some of the nation’s best chefs together to share their talent using pork,” said Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Minnesota and memebr of the National Pork Board. “By reaching chefs through Checkoff programs like this, the goal is to increase pork items on menus.”

The Taste of Elegance contest was created to encourage chefs to use pork more frequently in creative, non-traditional ways. It demands chefs to create original pork entrees that arejudged for taste, appearance and originality.

Other chefs honored by judges included Johnny Hernandez who earned the Superior Chef Award and $2,000 with his Roasted Pork loin en Salsa Azteca, and Hyang-Mi Frost, who won the Premium Chef Award and $1,000 with her Duo of Rub Spice Pork Loin and Braised Hocks. The other five finalists were: Dave Rensi of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Glenn Wheeler of Liberty Tavern in Omaha, Nebraska.; Patrick Ponsaty of Bernard’o in San Diego, California; Paul Nagan of Denver Renaissance Hotel in Denver, Colorado. and Tyler Honke of Fusions Private Catering in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Co-sponsors of the Checkoff-funded Taste of Elegance event were Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino of Lakeside, California., Cargill Meat Solutions of Wichita, Kansas.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold.

Further information on Checkoff-funded programs and sponsorship activities are can be found at:
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