Taste of Elegance Results 2024

Indianapolis chef Craig Baker took home the top award at this year’s Taste of Elegance held on January 17, 2024 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. The premier chef’s competition, hosted by Indiana Pork, is a culinary event designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to serve pork.

Each year, the Taste of Elegance program brings talented chefs together to compete in the prestigious event created to encourage chefs to use pork more frequently in creative, non-traditional ways. The event attracts over 400 pork farmers, lawmakers, ag industry leaders, and dignitaries to downtown Indianapolis for an evening of elegance and celebration.

Chef Baker’s featured pork prepared in two ways. The dish was a Moo Ping Iberico Pork Secreto with Soy Forbidden Rice, a Charred Baby Beet Salad, Sticky Pork Belly, Smoked Rice Krispies and Thai Red Curry Espuma. As the Taste of Elegance winner, Sample was presented with a check for $1,000 from Indiana Pork.

“Chef Baker is no stranger to food competitions,” said Jeanette Merritt, Director of Communications of Indiana Pork. “Chef has a great understanding of how to make pork taste delicious and design a plate that is appealing to the judges. His dish was an outstanding example of well-prepared pork!”

The 2024 Indiana Taste of Elegance featured some of the state’s top chefs, including:

  • Chef Michael Gomez — Gomez Catering and Events, Indianapolis
  • Chef Darrelle Soper, personal chef
  • Chef Chefski Laskowski, personal chef
  • Chef Jason Crouch, Hotel Carmichael, Indianapolis
  • Chef Cole Padgett – Taxman, Fortville
  • Chef Craig Greenwell, Earl Enterprises, Indianapolis
  • Chef AJ Feeney-Ruiz, Books, Bourbon & Bacon, Indianapolis
  • Chef Steven Amore, personal chef
  • Chef Craig Baker, HAIV Hospitality, Indianapolis
  • Chef Cole Padgett, Taxman Brewing, Fortville
  • Chef Lance George, Comida, Indianapolis
  • Chef Daniel Keiner, The Hulman at Hotel Indy, Indianapolis
  • Chef Felicia Grady, Plate it Up Catering, Indianapolis

Other winning chefs from the night include:

  • Superior Chef Award (2nd place): Steven Amore
  • Premium Chef Award (3rd place): Chefski Laskowski
  • Wine Pairing Award: Craig Baker
  • People’s Choice Award — Favorite Entrée: Michael Gomez
  • People’s Choice Award — Favorite Display: Daniel Keiner
  • People’s Choice Award — Favorite Wine: McClure’s Orchard & Winery