August 12, 2013 – Des Moines, IA – The Soyfoods Council and Iowa Restaurant Association collaborated to bring the Iowa State Fair its healthiest competition. The Soy Salad Dressing Professional Chef Contest took place Monday, August 12 at the Agriculture Building at the Iowa State Fair. Some of the area’s top chefs were invited to test their skills in this delicious and healthy competition.
The competitors included Chef Scott Stroud of Orchestrate Hospitality, Chef Kerri Rush of Fresh Café and Market, Chef Cori Albers of Hy-Vee in Ames, Chef Cherry Madole of The Tangerine Food Company and The Soyfoods Council interns Celia Bravard and Lauren Grant of Iowa State University. Chefs were challenged to make salad dressing recipes which were consumer friendly, used Soft Silken tofu as the base of the dressing and were delicious enough to put on their own menu. Chefs were to demonstrate the process of making the dressing, then served four judges as well as a crowd of fair-goers who also had a say in judging the People’s Choice portion of the contest. Contest judges included Linda Dedecker, Iowa Restaurant Association Chairman of the Board, Bob Quinn of The Big Show on WHO Radio, Executive Chef Program Chair Hospitality Careers, Robert Anderson and Embassy Club manager and culinary director, Michael La Valle.
Chef Madole won first place with a spicy Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette dressing. Chef Albers received second place for her Creamy Miso Slaw with Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna and Chef Stroud received third place with a Southwestern Silken Tofu Dressing over a southwestern chopped chicken salad. Iowa State University Food Science and Human Nutrition students Celia Bravard and Lauren Grant received the People’s Choice Award with a light and refreshing Basil Lime Dressing.
“More and more restaurants are seeking ways to both increase healthy menu choices and use Iowa products,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Soy offers an answer to both. Whether it’s leveraged in a favorite recipe or featured on a menu, soy is quickly becoming an increasingly profitable choice for restaurants for everything from salad dressing and sauces to a protein alternative.”
“This contest is the first of its’ kind to ever grace the Iowa State Fair,” said The Soyfoods Council Executive Director, Linda Funk. “This competition was a fun and healthy way to show the public how delicious and easy soy can be added into ever day meals. We hope that this is the beginning of many years of soy competitions at the fair.”
About The Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
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.