Chef Michael Bressler from The Red Circle Inn and Bistro, Nashotah, was recently named the Chef Par Excellence at the 2018 Wisconsin Pork Association Taste of Elegance Competition. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the annual competition that encourages chefs to create innovative and inspiring pork recipes. 

Chef Bressler’s winning entrée was called The Three Little Pig Plates and included pork ribeye, pancetta wrapped pork loin, and pork belly. This entrée earned Chef Bressler a $750 cash prize and an expense-paid trip to the 2018 Pork Summit.

The Pork Summit is an exclusive educational event hosted by the National Pork Board that brings together state or regional Taste of Elegance winners from across the country. The Pork Summit features demonstrations from renowned chefs, farm to fork education, and an opportunity to work with distinguished guest chefs and foodservice trade media.

Earning the Superior Chef award was Chef Robert Mulanax with the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. He prepared Pork Head Dim Sum that included a combination of pig cheek, fried head cheese, and pork skins.

Chef Corey Arndt with Chartwell’s Higher Education at UW-Green Bay was named Premium Chef for his Rustic Cinnamon and Espresso Pork Tenderloin. 

This year’s Best Use of Soy award went to Chef Joe Schneider from Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse in Middleton who accompanied his pork tenderloin entrée with edamame polenta.

The crowd favorite was a cider pork loin with maple bacon chutney prepared by Chef Kevin Dahlen from the Machine Shed in Pewaukee.

Other finalists in the 2018 Taste of Elegance competition were: Amy Huo, The Informalist, Eau Claire; Diane Pedersen, Living Oaks, Iola; and Rachael Karr, Pastiche at the Metro, Milwaukee.

The 2018 Wisconsin’s Taste of Elegance was sponsored by: Pork Checkoff, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, and Wisconsin Pork Association.

For copies of this year’s winning recipes, visit

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