Beef Jerky

Statewide Chef Competition Showcases Beef and Soy Sharing the Plate

Kylie Peterson | December 9, 2019

Contact: Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing & Communications, Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305

Restaurants are an important and valuable partner to the beef community. Their focus on providing quality dishes that appeal to consumers at an affordable price keeps our customers coming back for future pleasurable eating experiences. With the help of restaurants, Iowa’s beef farmers are dedicated to making delicious-tasting beef not only desirable, but attainable and worth repeating often.

This fall the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) partnered with the Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA) and The Soyfoods Council to host a two-part, state-wide, culinary competition that challenges competing chefs from across Iowa to create an entrée featuring a Beef Sirloin Ball Tip Steak and a soy-based side dish or sauce. A team of professional judges visited each restaurant to evaluate the dishes. Before a Celebratory Gala, held in conjunction with the Iowa Hospitality Expo at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on November 18, the 8 chefs showcased their competition creations in sample portions. Hundreds of event attendees then voted for a People’s Choice winner.

“These award-winning creations highlighted the exceptional culinary talent of Iowa’s chef community,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “We love the message combining beef and soy in a competition sends. There is room for both on the same plate, they are complements, not competitors. The variety of this year’s entries and flavors also exemplify the adaptability of these Iowa-based products to any style of cuisine. We expect to see many of these competition dishes on menus this year.” 

This year's winners were:

  • First Place - Matt Drennan, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, West Des Moines
  • Runner-up - Alex Beltran, Rathbun Grill at Honey Creek Resort
  • Third Place - Nick Marino, Park Street Kitchen + Bar, Downtown Hilton DSM
  • People's Choice - Anthony Nace, Blu Toro Cantina, West Des Moines

Learn more about a few of this year’s competitors by visiting


About the Iowa Beef Industry Council: The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit

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.