Two Great Events In One Night

by Celeste Corsaro

Tonight, my daughter Madeline and I did a little hotel hopping and parking garage trips, looking for the car.  No, really, it was two events, in two different venues.  Both were packing a crowd. Pretty good for a Monday night in Baltimore.

First up:  The Taste of Elegance competition, at the Renaissance Hotel.

The Taste of Elegance is a cooking competition event that is held every year, to promote pork. Yes, PORK!  You've seen the slogan; The Other White Meat?   Well the people that brought you that slogan are the same people who put on this event.  Many top name chefs from the Mid Atlantic attend this event to demonstrate their unique ways of cooking pork. I heard that Bryan Voltaggio of Volt restaurant, was there, but I didn't see him.  This my my 4th year attending and it seemed that this one was the best turn out I had ever seen.  Everyone assured me that the room was smaller this year. I think they were right.  I was in and out of there as soon as we casted our votes (yes, Madeline voted, too). 

Congratulations to Jerry Edwards of Chefs Expressions, for his BIG BAD championship.  With his Three Little pigs menu:

  • Straw House Pig -Wheatberry Salad with Miso and Honey Glazed Bacon.

  • Stick House Pig-  rosemary branch smoked pork loin with onion soubise. 

  • Brick House Pig- brick-pressed pork belly with star anise glace. He certainly was the big bad wolf and blew down the competition!

This was his first year entering the competition and I knew he would come away with a win, but my friend took home ALL of the prizes, for the evening. He won both the People's Choice and the Judge's Choice awards.  He will be entered in to the National competition, that brings together all of the chefs from across the country to compete for the National Taste Of Elegance award, in spring of 2010.  I'm sure he and John Walsh, executive chef, will blow the house down on that one, too!  Good luck, Jer! 

We only had the chance to sample a few nibblets, but here was the line-up. No pun intended.  That place was crowded!


 David Hayes- Mason's Restaurant,  Easton MD -Country style glazed ribs and pork cheek ravioli


Ben Simpkins-The Bay Atlantic Club,  Baltimore MD- Peanut butter belly with raspberry gelee, bacon doughnut with a bone marrow foam and a butternut squash rubric cube stuffed with braised pork tongue 

Michael Costa- Pazo, Baltimore MD- bacon wrapped pork belly confit with Fourme d' Ambert and walnuts

Bill Crouse - Sotto Sopra, Baltimore MD-braised pork cheek over house-cured bacon and white bean ragout, finished with orange gastrique apple chutney

Jordan Lloyd - The Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton MD- confit of baby pig cassoulet

Jerry Edwards - Chefs Expressions Catering, Baltimore MD The Three Little pigs: Straw House Pig -Wheatberry Salad with Miso and Honey Glazed Bacon. Stick House Pig-  rosemary branch smoked pork loin with onion soubise.  Brick House Pig- brick-pressed pork belly with star anise glace

Jeffrey Posluszny - Intercontinental Harbor Court hotel, Baltimore MD- Pork Osso Buco

Roland Morgan III - Calhoun MEBA Engineering School and Krystal Q catering, Easton MD-duo of pork

Trey Massey III - Private chef, Washington DC- pig and grits

Randolph Sprinkle - The Key Lime Cafe, St. Michaels MD- International sampler

Thank you to Howard Greenblatt, president of the Pork Board, for the invites!

I wish I could have stayed to see Jerry win, but we were off to the Marriott Waterfront hotel for the Signature Chefs event, for the March Of Dimes.  Gianfranco Fracassetti, my husband, and chef of Cafe Gia, was cooking at this event. The event looked well attended.  By the time we got there, everyone was seated, listening to the auction and the chefs were cleaning up.  By the looks of it, Jennifer Tarr, coordinator if the event, did another fabulous job!

 We were  just in time to see Giovanna, owner of Cafe Gia, announce their auction item.  It was a limo ride for 6 people, to Cafe Gia, to learn how to prepare and enjoy an authentic Italian, private wine dinner.  It went for $2500!    I saw some old friends and totally random people, including an old friend of the family, Mr. Victor Broccolino, president of Howard County General Hospital.  I sat and chatted with them while they put their bids in on the auction and then back out to the garage to look for the car...AGAIN! 

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