Ohio pig farmers host chef competition at annual Taste of Elegance

Chef Kyle Bulfer of Faurecia INC, Columbus, Ind., earned top honors at the Ohio Pork Council’s Taste of Elegance Chef Competition and Legislative Reception, where he was awarded the coveted Chef Par Excellence award and the People’s Choice award. Bulfer served edamame fried rice with crispy fried ham, and honey sriracha glazed pork loin to the panel of judges and attendees. The event was held on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Capital Club in downtown Columbus.

Chef Nathan Endres of Scott’s Miracle-Gro was named Superior Chef, while Chef Austin Smith, Hilton Columbus, was selected as Premier Chef. During the competition, each of the three chefs prepared a gourmet appetizer and entrée that emphasized the versatility and palatability of pork. Judging this year’s event were Kathy Heimerl and son Brad Heimerl, both of Heimerl Farms in Johnstown, Ohio, and Jordan Hoewischer of Ohio Farm Bureau.

Taste of Elegance provides a unique opportunity for Ohio farmers to mingle with chefs about how to properly prepare pork and speak with legislators interested in learning more about the key issues facing Ohio’s pig farming community.

“The Ohio Pork Council’s Taste of Elegance brings our farmers and legislators together to discuss current events in Ohio agriculture and enjoy a protein worth celebrating — pork,” said Dave Shoup, Ohio Pork Council president. “Many look forward to this annual event and we are grateful for the cooking expertise that this year’s competing chefs shared with attendees.”

Each year, farmers and legislators look forward to receiving their white glove and bone-in pork chops to begin their evening of pork samples — which includes gourmet bacon and samples of the fresh pork dishes prepared by each competing chef. Additionally, a selection of Ohio wines was offered by the Ohio Grape Industries while the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Cover Crop Beer was also served.

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