Review From An Intern- Taste of Elegance and Pinot, Pigs and Poets
Written by Katherine Mundorf
Hello there! My name is Katherine Mundorf and I am an intern for the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) this summer. I am currently a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication and one day hope to be a public relations specialist and event coordinator for an agricultural company. Taste of Elegance and Pinot, Pigs, and Poets was my first event after starting my internship with NPPA and was told that it was the “event of the summer”. I definitely have to agree with what my coworkers told me. Taste of Elegance was more than what I ever could have expected. The creativity of the dishes blew me away and getting to talk with friends, old and new, at the reception after made the event incredibly memorable. I highly recommend going if you have never attended!
The Taste of Elegance and Pinot, Pigs, and Poets event was a night to remember at the Happy Hollow Country Club in Omaha, NE. As you walked in, the scents of the different pork dishes and the pink pig cookies pulled you into deeper into the event.
The fierce competition of the Taste of Elegance chefs’ battled in the kitchen to provide the judges with creative dishes that pushed the boundaries of cooking with pork. The judges; Dr. Fayrene Hamouz a professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln/Nebraska Restaurant Association, Chef Grant Hon of Omaha Steaks, Brian O’Malley the Executive Director of the Institute for the Culinary Arts, and Chef Glenn Wheeler of Spencer’s For Steaks and Chops await their intriguing samples.
As each dish is discussed, no detail was left unnoticed and each was taken into consideration. When discussing which dish was the winner, the judges covered how some of the dishes included summery flowers to brighten up the plates and how sometimes extravagant and exotic dishes do not always make the top three but simpler takes on classic recipes catch their eye. For us watching, all of the dishes seemed extravagant, but the chefs took time to answer our questions about what each dish entailed. All of the dishes impressed the judges even if they admitted that they would have prepared the dishes just a little bit differently themselves.
The winner of this competition was Chef Tim Nicholson of The Boiler Room. Chef Nicholson’s dish consisted of pork tongue pastrami caraway polenta, mustard greens, pickled shallots, and sourdough bread and believe me it was delicious! The Pinot, Pigs, and Poets reception was when everyone came out and enjoyed the company of hundreds of other people, sampling hundreds of different wines including the wine competition’s winner Bien Nacido Vineyard’s 2012 Santa Maria Valley, and finally tasting the tempting smells of the chefs’ creations. As poets shared their work to the audience, the night went on full of laughter and good conversation, making it truly a night to remember!