Reprinted from the Bellevue Herald Leader Newspaper; Volume 152, Number 05,
Thursday, February 3, 2022; Section A, Page 2.
“Bellevue chef wows judges with pork dish in ‘Taste’ competition”
Chef Chad Myers of Bellevue receives his first-place award from members of the 2021 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team, including Iowa Pork Queen Leah Merek and Youth Ambassadors Reagan Gibson and Paige Dagel.
Chef Chad Myers uses pork meatballs to create Mexican street taco.
Using pork meatballs to recreate a Mexican street taco won over the judges at this year’s Taste Competition. The event, “Taste Iowa Pork Chef Competition” (Monday, January 24, 2022), formerly known as the “Iowa Taste of Elegance”, is held annually at the beginning of Iowa Pork Congress Week. (January 24-27, 2022; Iowa Events Center; Des Moines, Iowa.)
Chef Chad Myers, of Bellevue, took home the first-place honors — or Chef Par Excellence — at the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Taste Competition. This year’s contest challenged chefs to prepare an entrée featuring ground pork.
“We wanted to help encourage chefs to create innovative ways to utilize ground pork, as it’s become increasingly available at retail stores,” said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing and program director.
Myers is a corporate chef for HealthCare of Iowa, a company that operates senior living facilities throughout Iowa. For the Taste Competition, his Albondigas Al Pastor incorporated the flavors of tacos al pastor — a dish traditionally made with marinated pork shoulder on a corn tortilla.
“Albondigas” is Spanish for meatballs, and Myer’s version featured a base layer of corn pudding; Berkshire ground pork meatballs spiced with achiote and dried chilis; smoked pineapple and habanero jelly; roasted poblano sauce; a mixture of pickled onions, radish, and cotija cheese; and cilantro.
“I’ve always wanted to turn tacos into a high-end, plated dish,” Myers said.
According to judge John Andres, the variety of textures, flavors, and cooking techniques “made for a very interesting use of ground pork, enriched by some fun accompaniments.” Andres is director of the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.
Myers received $1,000 and a plaque in his efforts to prepare the top entrée in the field of seven chefs.
Taste is a Pork Checkoff-funded culinary competition designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to menu pork in restaurants. The event brings together talented chefs from across the state, and IPPA provided each (chef) with a $200 stipend to offset the cost of the pork.
Congratulations to Chef Chad Myers
Taste Iowa Pork Chef Competition
2022 Chef Par Excellence Award
(First place honors)
January 24, 2022