Finalists Selected for Wisconsin’s 30th Annual Taste of Elegance

Eight chefs from throughout the state have been selected to compete in the 2018 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance contest. The 2018 competition, which will take place on Thursday, February 1 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, will be the 30th anniversary of the event.

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 annual Pork Summit.

The eight chefs selected to compete in the 2018 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance are:

  • Chef Corey Arndt, Chartwells – UW Green Bay, Green Bay
  • Chef Amy Huo, The Informalist, Eau Claire
  • Chef Joe Schneider, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton
  • Chef Robert Mulanax, Kalahari Resort, WI Dells
  • Chef Diane Pedersen, Living Oaks, Iola
  • Chef Kevin Dahlen, Machine Shed, Pewaukee
  • Chef Rachael Karr, Pastiche at the Metro, Milwaukee
  • Chef Michael Bressler, The Red Circle Inn & Bistro, Nashotah

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 1 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.

The evening will also include several fundraising auctions for Wisconsin Pork Association programs. A silent auction will be held to raise funds for a scholarship in memory of Buell Gunderson. The annual youth pie auction will also continue to raise funds for additional youth programs and scholarships. A separate live auction will also be added this year to offer bidders an opportunity to purchase a variety of additional items. For more details on these auctions and to view photos of some of the items up for auction, visit

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. For those planning to attend the Corn/Soy Expo, admission to the Taste of Elegance is included with two-day registration or one-day Thursday registration.

The Taste of Elegance is sponsored by the Pork Checkoff; Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board; and Wisconsin Pork Association. The event is held in conjunction with the Pork/Corn/Soy Expo, which takes place February 1-2 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisc. Dells. For more information about the Expo, visit the website at