Complimentary Recipes Book Features Chefs’ Creations from Pork Culinary Competition

Taste of Elegance ChefsBellies and Butts, Pork Praline with Butternut Squash Puree and Szechuan Pork Belly are a few of the recipes featured in the 2012 Taste of Elegance pork recipe book. The book features short biographies on the 17 participating chefs plus the original pork recipe each prepared for the 24th annual competition hosted by the Minnesota Pork Board.

Taste of Elegance Book CoverTo order your Taste of Elegance recipe book online, visit, or email your name and mailing address to When ordering by email, please include Taste of Elegance in the subject line.

The Taste of Elegance competition is designed to showcase the versatility of pork and the creativity of chefs. The judging and award’s program takes place each January at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel.

This year, Tim Kovacs, the executive chef for Basil’s Restaurant and Marq VII Lounge, located in the Marquette Hotel, Minneapolis, received first place. Kovacs received $1,500 in prize money and will represent the Minnesota Pork Board at the 2012 National Pork Summit at the Culinary Institute of America in Graystone, St. Helena, Calif.

Chef Jeff LaBeau, general manager at The Depot Bar and Grill in Faribault, earned second place and $1,000 in prize money for his pork recipe The 650 guests attending the Taste of Elegance evening award’s program also selected LaBeau’s recipe as the crowd favorite, earning him the People’s Choice Award and the $750 prize.

Christian Orosz, executive chef at the award winning catering business, Lettuce Cater, Columbia Heights, earned third place and $750 in prize money.

Peter Christenson, executive chef for Woolley’s Restaurant, Bloomington, received $250 for the best evening table display.

Judges for the Taste of Elegance were Chef Jack Riebel, who will soon be opening the restaurant, Butcher & the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; Steven Shapely, executive chef and instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Minneapolis/St. Paul; and Ron Bohnert, executive chef at the StoneRidge Golf Club, Stillwater. The judges based their decisions on taste, appearance and originality of the pork dish.

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