Fried food wasn’t the only foodie favorite at the 2017 Iowa State Fair. On Monday, hungry fair-goers sampled original soft silken tofu-based salad dressing creations from four local, professional chefs including this year’s champion Chef Tag Grandgeorge from Le Jardin. 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 four judges as well as a crowd of fair-goers.
Chef Grandgeorge took home the gold with a creamy Sesame Ginger Tofu Dressing over a kale salad with candied walnuts, roasted sweet potatoes, and bacon. Other competing chefs included:
2nd Place: Chef Lisa LaValle, Trellis, Des Moines—Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
3rd Place: Chef Patti Weidner, Hy-Vee, Des Moines—Spicy Toasted Sesame Tofu Dressing
4th Place: Chef Jacob Carnes, Goldfinch, Des Moines—Asian Inspired Tofu Vinaigrette
All participants received cash prizes.
Contest judges included Iowa Soybean Association Board of Director member, Steph Essick; Iowa farmer and Food & Swine Blogger, Cristen Clark; Des Moines Register Food & Dining Reporter, Brian Carlson; and Chairman of the Iowa Restaurant Association Board of Directors, Mike Holms.