IRA Press Information
September 22, 2014

2014 Chef of the Year

September 22, 2014
Chef Dominic Iannarelli, Executive Chef at Splash Seafood Bar & Grill and Jethros BBQ in Des Moines has been selected the 2014 Iowa Restaurant Association Chef of the Year. Iannarelli accepted the award at the Iowa Restaurant Association’s Hospitality Industry Award Ceremony at the Renaissance Savery Hotel in downtown Des Moines.   “This award honors the professional chef who exemplifies creativity, culinary excellence and service to the profession and the industry,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Dominic is an innovative and determined culinary master. He’s always striving for the next level of excellence.” Pushing the Culinary Envelope After earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Iowa State University, Iannarelli began travelling around the world to find new culinary experiences, but eventually came back home to Iowa. In 1998, Iannarelli partnered with Bruce Gerleman – an entrepreneur who developed a five star restaurant in downtown Des Moines – and Iannarelli quickly became the Executive Chef. Splash soon became one of only two Iowa restaurants to receive the prestigious Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award. The partnership quickly grew and Jethro’s BBQ was also formed.   Iannarelli is always ready to push the culinary envelope just a little further, but he is pleased with the progress of the region, stating, “I’m happy to see how far Des Moines has come in the past 10 years.” Iannarelli will continue to be at the forefront of the Des Moines restaurant scene and is already planning new ways to introduce people to innovative cuisines and culinary styles.


Iowa Restaurant Association The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.   Media Contact: Katelyn Kostek Public Relations Specialist 515-276-1454  

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