A Dayton chef’s dish was the prized pig at an exclusive, “white-glove” competition held this week.
Aaron Braun, a chef at Meadowlark Restaurant, 5531 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp., Montgomery County, won the top honors at the Ohio Pork Council’s Taste of Elegance Chef Competition and Legislative Reception in New Albany on Tuesday, March 26.
Braun’s apple baked pork buns and cider-glazed pork loin with spicy pickled apple, butternut squash gratin and shredded Brussels sprouts won everyone over.
Braun captured the top Chef Par Excellence award and, for the second consecutive year, seized the event’s People’s Choice award.
About 200 farmers, elected officials and members of the general public attended the annual event.
Chef Broc Balte of Mercy Health was named superior chef. Chef Tom Tiner of AVI Foodsystems was selected as premier chef.
Judges included Connie Surber, a former pork council board member board and pork industry supporter; five-time Taste of Elegance winner Todd McDunn, the resident director of food services for Scotts Miracle-Gro Campus; and attorney Greg Lestini of Bricker and Eckler.
As part of the event, guests received white gloves and a bone-in pork chop to begin the evening.
They sampled assorted flavors of bacon, cheeses, appetizers and from each of the chefs’ menus.
A sample of Ohio wines from Ohio Grape Industries and beer from the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Cover Crop Beer were served.