Press release

Chef Competition Combines Beef and Soy to Create Culinary Masterpieces

This week, the Iowa Restaurant Association in collaboration with The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, completed their statewide culinary competition at a Celebratory Gala in Des Moines. The two-part competition challenged top chefs across Iowa to create an entrée featuring a bottom round flat steak and a soy-based side dish or sauce. A team of professional judges visited each restaurant to evaluate each dish. On Monday, the 10 chefs showcased their competition creations in sample portions at a Celebratory Gala held in conjunction with Iowa Hospitality Expo. Hundreds of event attendees then voted for a People’s Choice winner.

“These award-winning creations highlighted the exceptional culinary talent of Iowa’s chef community,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “The variety of this year’s entries and flavors also exemplify the adaptability of these Iowa-based products to any style of cuisine. We expect to see many of these competition dishes on menus this year,” said Linda Funk, executive director of The Soyfoods Council.

This year’s winners were:

1st Place – Chef Andrew Cardillo, The Marriott, Des Moines

Recipe: Sous Vide Braveheart Black Angus Beef Bottom Round Flat Steak, Duck Fat Tofu Fries and Mash + Marrow Steak Sauce

2nd Place – Chef Aaron Holt, RoCA, Des Moines

Recipe: Iowa Beef Meets Asian Influences

People’s Choice – Chef Oscar Hernandez, 712 Eat + Drink, Council Bluffs

Recipe: Mediterranean Spiced Beef roll with tofu falafel with chili de arbol and cucumber mint yogurt sauce

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.

About the Iowa Beef Industry Council

The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit

About the Iowa Restaurant Association

The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

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