Finalists Selected for 2017 Taste of Elegance

Eight chefs from throughout the state of Wisconsin have been selected to compete in the 2017 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance contest. The contest will be held at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells on February 2. The Taste of Elegance encourages creative pork menuing and will feature exquisitely prepared entrées from Wisconsin’s top chefs.  At stake in the competition is $2000 in cash prizes and a complimentary trip from the National Pork Board to the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, CA.

The public is invited to experience the flavor and quality of foods produced by the state’s farmers and chefs at a reception on February 2 beginning at 6:15 p.m. Attendees can sample menu specialties from the chefs competing in the Taste of Elegance and vote for their favorite entrée to determine the $250 People’s Choice Award. A panel of judges will determine the Chef Par Excellence, Superior Chef, and Premium Chef based on each entrée’s taste, appearance, and originality. A $250 Best Use of Soy Award, sponsored by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, will also be presented to a chef featuring soy accompaniments with their pork entrée. Tickets to the Taste of Elegance are $25.00 and can be purchased in advance by calling the WPA office at 608-723-7551. Tickets will also be available for purchase the day of the event.

The eight chefs selected to compete in the 2017 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance are:

  • Chef Nicholas Conley, Double Cut, Wisconsin Dells
  • Chef Aaron Fidder, Wisconsin Machine Shed, Grand Chute
  • Chef Diane Pedersen, Living Oaks, Iola
  • Chef Nestor Sanchez, Maki Yaki, Milwaukee
  • Chef Kelsey Schoen, The Black Sheep, Whitewater
  • Chef Brianna Taylor, Bigfoot Country Club, Fontana
  • Chef Seth VanderLaan, Miller Park, Milwaukee
  • Chef Mitchel Weber, The Restaurant at Charmant Hotel, La Crosse

The Taste of Elegance is sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage; Pork Checkoff; Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board; Resource Engineering Associates, Inc.; and Wisconsin Pork Association. The event is held in conjunction with the Pork/Corn/Soy Expo, which takes place February 2-3 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisc. Dells. For more information about the Expo, visit the website at

*Recipes for each chef’s entrée will be available upon completion of the competition.