IRA Press Information
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August 16, 2017

Le Jardin Chef Wins Healthiest Competition at 2017 Iowa State Fair

August 16, 2017
August 16, 2017 – West Des Moines, IA – Fried food wasn’t the only foodie favorite at the 2017 Iowa State Fair.  On Monday, hungry fair-goers sampled original soft silken tofu-based salad dressing creations from four local, professional chefs including this year’s champion Chef Tag Grandgeorge from Le Jardin. The competition, which was hosted by The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Restaurant Association, took place in the Agriculture Building where crowds watched each chef make and discuss their dressings in front of a panel of professional judges. Top Chefs Wow the Crowd The competing chefs were challenged to make salad dressing recipes which used Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu as the base of the dressing, were consumer friendly, and were delicious enough to put on a restaurant menu.  Each chef demonstrated the process of making the dressing and then served four judges as well as a crowd of fair-goers. Grandgeorge Wins Chef Grandgeorge took home the gold with a creamy Sesame Ginger Tofu Dressing over a kale salad with candied walnuts, roasted sweet potatoes, and bacon. Other competing chefs included: 2nd Place: Chef Lisa LaValle, Trellis, Des Moines – Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing 3rd Place: Chef Patti Weidner, Hy-Vee, Des Moines – Spicy Toasted Sesame Tofu Dressing 4th Place: Chef Jacob Carnes, Goldfinch, Des Moines – Asian Inspired Tofu Vinaigrette All participants received cash prizes. Contest judges included Iowa Soybean Association Board of Director member and Iowa farmer, Steph Essick; Iowa farmer and Food & Swine Blogger, Cristen Clark; Des Moines Register Food & Dining Reporter, Brian Carlson; and Chairman of the Iowa Restaurant Association Board of Directors, Mike Holms. All of the chefs’ recipes are available online at both the Iowa Restaurant Association and The Soyfoods Council websites: and


About The Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.

About the 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 Iowa Restaurant Association 515-276-1454

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