(Des Moines, Iowa) October 3, 2012—Chef Andrew Weis, Executive Chef for the Hotel Julien in Dubuque, won both the professional panel and people’s choice culinary awards at the Iowa Restaurant Association’s Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala. The competition was sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Soyfoods Council. All chefs featured a beef strip loin entrée and a tofu side dish or sauce. The chefs worked with Certified Angus Beef® courtesy of Sysco of Iowa.
Chef Roger Johnson of the Iowa Machine Shed placed second in the competition and Chef Robert Sanda owner/operator of Tally’s Restaurant Bar & Catering in Des Moines placed third. All three chefs received cash prizes.
Dishes Sampled at Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala
As part of the competition, seven Iowa chefs presented their original culinary creations in a blind tasting format. Each dish was judged on appearance; taste; tenderness, texture and use of product; as well as overall creativity and practicality. Bonus points were given for the innovative use of both the tofu and strip loin.
That evening the chefs presented sample size portions of the same dishes to more than 300 food and wine lovers as part of the People’s Choice Culinary Competition of the Iowa Restaurant Association’s Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala at Prairie Meadows. Each attendee cast their vote and the cash prizes were awarded at the end of the evening.
Winning Dish is a Trio
Weis’s winning dish was a trio which included marinated, rubbed, and seared strip loin, served with a zesty London sauce and topped with crispy onion and soy strips served over his signature buttermilk smashed reds. He also marinated fresh, peppers, peppadews, onions, and strip loin grilled and glazed with a honey teriyaki glaze. Rounding out the trio was a fresh herb crusted Strip Tenderloin, served on a medley of vegetables and topped with a crispy prosciutto ham and broiled boursin cheese. Weis’s dish was paired and served with Simi Cabernet Sauvignon courtesy of the competition’s exclusive wine sponsor Constellation Wines.
“Every year this competition is held to celebrate Iowa restaurant industry month and we are consistently awed by the culinary creativity of Iowa’s chefs,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “The fact that Chef Weis’s dish netted top honors from both the professional judging panel and general public also shows that Iowa restaurant patrons are developing increasingly sophisticated and demanding pallets as well.”
Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s hospitality industry with educational and promotional programs across the state. www.restaurantiowa.com.
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Media Contact: Jessica Dunker, firstname.lastname@example.org