August 16, 2016 – West Des Moines, IA – Fried food wasn’t the only foodie favorite at the 2016 Iowa State Fair. On Monday, hundreds of fair-goers sampled original soft silken tofu-based salad dressing creations from four local, professional chefs including this year’s champion Chef Alex Strauss from Hy-Vee Market Café. The competition, which was hosted by The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Restaurant Association, took place in the Agriculture Building where crowds watched each chef make and discuss their dressings in front of a panel of professional judges.
Top Chefs Wow the Crowd
The competing chefs were challenged to make salad dressing recipes which used Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu as the base of the dressing, were consumer friendly, and were delicious enough to put on a restaurant menu. Each chef demonstrated the process of making the dressing and then served six judges as well as a crowd of fair-goers.
Chef Strauss took home the gold with a sweet and spicy Creamy Mango Habanero dressing over a mixed local greens salad with avocados, hearts of palm, red peppers and Jamaican jerk pork. Other competing chefs included:
2nd Place: Chef Kerri Rush, Fresh Café & Market, Clive – Avotziki Salad dressing
3rd Place: Chef Hassan Atarmal, Fresh Mediterranean Express, Waukee -Tofu Soy Ginger dressing
4th Place: Chef Patrick Cashman, Guru BBQ, Des Moines – Tofu Roasted Raspberry Chipotle dressing
All participants received cash prizes.
Contest judges included Tom and Susanne Oswald of the Iowa Soybean Association, Angela Ten Clay, a Communication Manager for Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Zones Project, Table 128 Bistro + Bar Owners/Operators Chef Lynn and Sarah Pritchard, and 2015 Soy Salad Dressing Competition Champion Chef Scott Stroud from College Chefs.
The Soyfoods Council
The Soyfoods Council is an affiliate of the Iowa Soybean Association. The mission of The Soyfoods Council is to serve as a catalyst, leader and facilitator to mainstream soy-based foods into the global marketplace-America and beyond. www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com
Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s industry with educational and promotional programs across the state. www.restraurantiowa.com