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   Iowa Restaurant Association Organizes Chef Competition
by The Iowa Restaurant Association
Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 3:46PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Foodies on the hunt for new approaches to protein-rich entrees and sides delighted themselves with a statewide sampling tour of unique takes on flank steak and soy-based side dishes and sauces. The Iowa Restaurant Association, The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council assembled a river-to-river group of Iowa’s top chefs to compete for the title of Chef Champion in their annual Culinary Competition this month. Judges traveled to each of their restaurants and then brought the group together for a patron sampling event. The creativity was self-evident as the chefs showcased two major, Iowa-grown proteins in wholly unexpected ways.

“These award-winning dishes span ethnic, fine dining, and casual cuisines,” said Linda Funk, Executive Director of The Soyfoods Council. “The innovation of the chefs as they presented new takes on these base ingredients speaks to their skills in the kitchen as well as the adaptability of beef and soy.”

Results and Winning Dishes
1st Place – Chef Jason Culbertson, The Hotel Julien, Dubuque
Recipe: Korean BBQ Beef Flank Steak with Soy Mushrooms Over Miso Ginger Butternut Squash

2nd Place – Chef Wallace Franklin Jr., The Whiskey House & Bourbon Grill, Ankeny
Recipe: Beef Flank Steak Tartare with Smoked Tofu Foam

People’s Choice – Chef Oscar Hernandez, 712 Eat + Drink, Council Bluffs
Recipe: Beef Flank Steak and Frites with a Chili Tofu Mayo

Event Recap
The chefs first presented their dishes to team of travelling judges including: Chef Robert Anderson CEC-CCE, Executive Chef and Program Chair at the Iowa Culinary Institute, Des Moines Foodster Blogger Nick Lucs, and representatives from event sponsors The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

The chefs then prepared sample-sized portions of their dish for nearly 300 attendees at a People’s Choice event held at The Atrium at Capital Square in Des Moines on Oct. 5. Awards and cash prizes were given to the winner, runner-up, and People’s Choice winner. Find these award-winning recipes at

Source: The Iowa Restaurant Association

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